Abraham Lincoln Invented Facebook (and Other Lies Companies Want You to Believe)
You saw that article last month, right? This blogger, Nate St. Pierre, crafted this whole story about how he took a small adventure on a day off from work and quickly followed some clues that showed that Honest Abe had filed a patent for a Facebook-like newspaper back in 1845. The story was clever and entertaining but lacked one crucial element – the truth.
St. Pierre took two things that people love (Lincoln and Facebook) and played on the imaginations of his readers to create an article that went viral. The article has over 20,000 likes on Facebook and who knows how many total views. He garnered short-lived success by promoting an illusion.
The whole thing got me thinking about the status of “marketing” for most companies these days. While not intentionally deceptive like Nate St. Pierre was, many companies are presenting themselves as something that they really aren’t.
You’re the “#1 Sheet Metal Supplier in America?” You’re the “Best Pizza Place This Side of the Mississippi?” Where is the proof? Making a claim like this without any evidence is simply a platitude – a meaningless statement that most companies make that float right by your prospects and get no attention. As a sheet metal supplier, show some case studies where you’ve documented your on-time delivery to your buyers. As a pizza place, collect some reviews from satisfied customers and post them on your website.
A proper marketing strategy draws on a company’s TRUE strengths and presents them to their potential customers with proof. Differentiate yourself from your competition. If you really ARE the best pizza place this side of the Mississippi, say it…but offer proof. And send me some pizza.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paukrus/4059772953/ via Creative Commons