When is it a marketing strategy, and when is it just plain lying?

For decades, copywriters have implemented the client’s marketing strategies with clever slogans, catchy headlines, and memorable payoff lines. But at what stage does a marketing strategy become deceitful.

Popular marketing strategies

Create Consumer Awareness has always been a core marketing strategy. If the customer does not know you exist, then they cannot purchase your product. The mediums best known for reach in building awareness are TV, Radio, Billboards, and Press.

Excellent Customer Service is another core marketing strategy. Avis has their “We try harder” slogan to showcase that they hold their customers to a high value.

When a company wants to keep in touch with their customers, emailers, special offers, and even loyalty programs work well. Done very successfully by the retail giants of the last century like the Edcon group.

Creating a “limited price offer” or reducing the time frame of the offer creates an unnatural demand or shortage of the product. Consumers have a fear of missing out on the deal and tend to make a rush purchase.

When is it just plain lying?

But, when a company inflates prices to show a more significant discount, this can be misconstrued as deceit. Many companies get busted using this technique over the Black Friday Sales. They advertise a “before” price and a “black Friday price,” but essentially, the before the price is unnaturally inflated to show the consumer a more significant % discount.

Catching the consumer’s attention with an inflated % off as a strategy is not new. Many sales have used the “up to 80% off” strategy at least once. All they need to do to remain compliant is have one product at that discount, and the rest of the sale items can range from 1% off upwards. Technically, they are not lying. They just getting your attention to come in store to buy other products at lower discounts, hopefully.

The Takealot saga

Having been in the news of late, the Takealot platform is accused of inflating the “before” prices to show a higher discount. Now, anyone who sells on the platform will know, Takealot does not set the costs because the seller of the product sets them. To remain competitive, they need to show the consumer a higher % discount than the next seller. It was just a matter of time before the sellers found the loophole in the system to exploit.

But, unfortunately, the lack of control Takealot has had on this part of the process is landing it in hot water, with the negative press following.

The Black Friday deals are about to flood the media and our inboxes, so think twice before trying to jippo the customer. They have access to far more information than you think, can google your competitors for more info, and even find suppliers to buy from directly.

Ruining your company’s reputation for the sake of a sale is never worth it.

Bizcash is a South African company that wants to grow SME’s in SA to ensure a sustainable future for all.

Please speak to our team to find out more about how we can help your business with expansion plans with alternative funding options. Get in touch with us on 0861 93 93 93 or email us on info@bizcash.co.za or contact us here.

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