Today’s Business Public Service Announcement!

Confused prospects never buy, they just say no!  They won’t tell you they’re confused because they don’t want to look or feel stupid.  Today I experienced some crazy mixed marketing messages that left me confused.  These signs were on the front windows of a national chain store that is closing two locations in my community.  After reading these signs, I wasn’t sure what to believe.  The 30% off is actually “Up to 30% off”, but the “up to” is partially hidden behind the window bar.  This may not seem to be a big deal because you just have to take the time to read carefully, but it’s never a good idea to make the customer work to understand.  Still, this is minor compared to the other mixed messages on the signs. The customer is left with the question, “Which is it?”


“Nothing held back!”IMG_3392a


“EVERYTHING up to 30% off original price.”

Or, do

“Some exclusions apply?”


“EVERYTHING” and “Some exclusions apply.” are mutually exclusive concepts!

The experience got even more disappointing when I entered the store hoping to find some great deals. (Who doesn’t love a great sale?)  I was unable to find anything in the store that was 30% or even 20% off.  The only discounts I could find were 10% off.  There were several entire sections that were excluded from any discount at all as the “fine print” on one sign indicated.  The conclusion, EVERYTHING didn’t really mean EVERYTHING and “Up to 30% off” really only meant 10% today.  I left irritated that I had wasted my time and distrustful of the company.

This was a great reminder that we often think our marketing messages are clear, but forget to examine them from the perspective of our clients.  Take some time to look at your marketing messages and be sure you’re communicating what you intended.  Have someone outside your industry give you feedback.  We’re often blinded by our own knowledge and familiarity with our products and industry.

Let’s not give our customers a reason to say, “No!” because they’re confused!