Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Power of Positive Marketing

Do you remember Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh stories? Eeyore was the “gloom and doom” or negative voice in most situations. He said things like, “We’re never going to make it.”

Negativity can be emotionally draining and often deters people from the task at hand. It’s harder to be persuaded or moved to action by a negative message. A positive message evokes enthusiasm and carries its own energy. Think of The Little Engine That Could saying, “I think I can. I think I can.”

Negative language stops communication. Positive language encourages an open dialogue. You may have noticed that when you are in a meeting and a coworker phrases something in a negative manner, it brings the flow of ideas to a halt. However, positive wording is more open ended and allows others to build on and expand ideas. Here are some examples of phrases you might hear around the office. Note how the negative wording ends a conversation abruptly while the more positive response opens up communication.

Negative: “That’s not how we do it.”
Positive: “Here’s what we do.”

Negative: “I don’t like that idea.”
Positive: “How about…” or “What if we…”

Negative: “That won’t work.”
Positive: “Here’s something that might work.”

An important aspect of your marketing materials is the copy. The language you use sets the tone for your direct marketing efforts and helps position your company and your brand image in the minds of customers and prospects. Positive language will enable you to control or frame your communications. Using upbeat, declarative language and power words creates an image in the minds of your readers.

Compare the impact of these negative sentences and their more positive counterparts.

Negative: Don’t delay. Supplies are limited.
Positive: Please hurry! Order now to reserve your limited-edition copy.

Negative: Don’t hesitate to call me.
Positive: Feel free to call me, I’m happy to talk with you.

Negative: You can’t live without our widget.
Positive: Make life easier with our amazing widget.

People are more likely to listen to an enthusiastic person or message. It’s easy for marketers to become complacent about what they do. Marketers become so familiar with their own products and services, they can forget what is exciting and great about them. Take some time and write down the exciting, unique, and beneficial aspects of your product or service from your customer’s perspective.

Think about the ways that your company improves customers’ lives. It may inspire you to look at your products or services in a new light.