Over promise – get THE ANSWER here – Credibiity on the web

Have you noticed lately, that everyone else seems to have “The Answer”? There’s a webinar promising to tell you how to overcome all your obstacles in 5 simple steps and a newsletter that has just what you’re missing to change your life.

The hype that has hit the internet is a stylized version of Snake Oil and Liver pills that could cure all that ills you…

As one blog respondent put it, “If there was just one, easy change I could make, wouldn’t I have figured that out by now?”

I had this pop into my inbox-

“Do you feel dissatisfied in your chosen career? Wonder if there is more to life than ‘this’? Feel like life is a continuous merry-go-round of work and family responsibilities? Long for a more fulfilled and inspiring life but feel trapped by fears and financial obligations?… then this very special book launch evening is for you! In a pared down, no-nonsense style we’ll teach you how to follow your dreams and goals while maintaining the security of a regular income.”

Really? They can fix all that in a book?

The Honda Jazz ad says “We can’t predict everything life will throw at us. Isn’t it useful that somebody has?”

This particularly annoyed me. This car is going to predict if I’ll fall in love, have babies and live a fulfilling life?


There is a fine line between enticement and turn off. Both of these examples crossed over the line for me. They promised too much and lost all credibility. I can’t imagine what they could do to win me back.

Pushing toward the extreme can create drama, interest and intrigue but pushing too far can lose you a customer forever.




  1. I do often wonder if they are deliberatly creating marketing that will target specific ideal clients/customers and will “weed out” those who they don’t want to be working with. Or if that hasn’t even crossed their minds and they are following some type of formula without given a seconds thought to who they’d actually want as customers.

  2. Good point Jen, who are you targeting when you say you hold all the answers? Equally, if our problems are all so similar or our lives all predictable, what is it that makes us both unique and special? Thanks for you comment.

  3. I see your point Jen, my experience is that the people who will buy into this sort of marketing are looking for a quick, easy, overnight solution to earning a million without putting any thought or effort into it…which unless you happen upon a winning lottery ticket or find a dearly departed long lost billionaire uncle with no offspring, I don’t believe exists. If you want to get to the top, yes, there are strategies that are beneficial to employ, yes there are learnings that you can take from the great people who have gone before you and reached success, but it doesn’t exist in the form of a golden ticket which requires no real work. I know of several people who work in this area of the market who have no real interest in creating value for their customers, they really are just looking for another bunch of people looking for “instant success”, who can be sold a story about how their product will provide it to them. Personally I subscribe to the approach of represent your product fairly…and then exceed expectations – it is far more likely to result in repeat custom 🙂

  4. Kathy,

    I totally agree with you that hype-y language is unappealing and a turn-off. However, the copy that you quoted as coming from me isn’t my copy. ‘The 5 Sure-Fire Techniques’ is the subheading for a free teleclass, and the copy that you included in your blog isn’t mine. I don’t have a book that promises anything like that.
    I’m not sure where that copy came from, but you can check out my copy for the teleclass if you like at http://www.TappingIntoMarketingMastery.com. If you still don’t care for my copy, I’m OK with that 🙂 Just thought you ought to have the right copy in there.

  5. Pamela I am so sorry! I checked and the email I received was from someone promoting you and obviously they had written the copy. I really apologise for dissing you! I’ll take your name off it right away. I’m hanging my head in shame – now I’m the one who has over-hyped. I’ve checked out your site and the language is very different, I also liked your video. So, so sorry I misquoted you.

  6. Thing is, there is a difference between the two approaches. Both are targetting a specific audience in a particular life-stage/state of mind, but the book one tries to do it completely rationally and by basically showing the audience their own audience research. Which is therefore easy to see through.
    Whereas at least Honda have kept their audience insights document in their office and not put it directly into the ad. I agree with you, even as a family man, the ad doesn’t appeal to me, but you can see they’ve targetted a very specific audience – couples just starting a family, who have therefore grown up with the more left-field Honda campaigns – and they’re simply offering reassurance to them at a time when they’re full of anxiety – ie. meeting an emotional need. Clearly they don’t expect it to appeal beyond this demographic. Having said that, the execution does make them seem more like Lloyds Bank, so I’d be more concerned from a brand-stretch point of view…!

    1. Thanks for the comment Robin, I love the way you explained that their strategy is showing. I hadn’t seen it that way and you’re right. I like your reassurance theory but am still not convinced about their claim that they know what’s coming my way. Looking forward to hearing from you again about the viability of brand stretch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s