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Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett

Fake Claims Are Never Good Business

Fake political news is increasing the public's sensitivity to all kinds of "disinformation," including misleading business information. "Fake news" refers to distorted facts, fabricated facts, and deliberately omitted facts. As you begin the New Year, consider how you represent your company and your offerings.

Do not make false claims about your company, your products, or your services. Some medical doctors promote their cures on TV and through online infomercials. Unfortunately, you can't tell if their potions and meds are effective--or even safe.

Avoid empty words and exaggerations, such as "You will be able to monitor all your home digital devices from anywhere in the world."

Don't fabricate statistics or make promises about services you cannot provide. Can any business provide unlimited warranties?

Don't omit important information about product limitations and product warranties. For instance, some electronic equipment will not work in extremely cold temperatures.

Avoid making false claims about competitors' products, such as rumoring that a competitor is under investigation by the SEC.

Don't elevate prices in order to discount them later. Customers will notice if you have elevated prices 25% before announcing a 15% sale.

Tips for Truthful Promotions

Convince prospective customers and clients with testimonials and reviews from satisfied real customers and through publishing case studies about recent customer experiences.

Use actionable language that is free from confusing jargon or empty claims.

Be truthful about product limitations, and be sure to include safety information. Check with engineering or product development whether your products live up to the claims in your promotional material.

You cannot retract exaggerated product claims once you have made them. Make fact checking company policy. When your promotions are truthful, your sales will increase, and you will reduce the risk of lawsuits. Best wishes for health, happiness, and good business in 2017.

Winett Associates helps companies
understand their customers and markets.

Copyright © 1/17 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.


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