Seth Godin wrote something smart and cool again the other day (he tends to do that):
Make big promises; overdeliver.
If you can define great marketing in fewer words than that, you win.
“Big promises”: treating people with respect, improving self-esteem, delivering results, contacting as often as you say you will but not more, including side effects in your planning, delivering joy, meeting spec, being on time, connecting people to one another, delivering consistency, offering value and on and on. Caring. The stories involved in your promises matter. That’s often what people are buying.
This is the first place that the equation breaks down. Marketers often make big promises that appear to be unrealistic or are delivered in ways that don’t match the worldview of the prospect. Marketers get carried away with themselves and focused on their greatness and forget to tell a story that people enjoy believing.
And sometimes, they make promises that are too small to get our attention. Boring promises are hardly worth making.
“Overdeliver” means doing more than you said you would, which is the secret to word of mouth.
Here, of course, the pitfall is obvious. You made too big a promise and you did your best, but no, you didn’t overdeliver, not really. You didn’t amaze and delight and yes, stun me with the incredible results of your offering.
Just because it’s only four words doesn’t mean it’s easy!
Bake this into your qwan.
(Don’t ask me what qwan is. Please. Just don’t.)