HOME  |  Top Tips & Thoughts  |  Marketing strategies for small business | How Effie got it right
Top Tips & Thoughts
Marketing strategies for small business | How Effie got it right
by Janet Torley on 04/05/2017

A couple of weeks back I had occasion to pop into Boots for some minor ailment pills and potions.  On the way in I was accosted in the nicest possible way by an assistant of shall we say ‘maturer’ years- well made up but no skinny minny.  Just the sort of person someone like me would easily identify with.  None of your Giselle Bundchum stuff.

The conversation went a bit like this:

“Do you know Effie over there on the cosmetics counter?”

“Not really, but I know who you mean”(she’s been there for ever)

“These photos are of Effie” thrusting some A4 neck close ups under my nose.  “This one was taken on Monday, this one of Thursday and this one just this morning.  What’d you think?  Just look at her wrinkles.  They’re really disappearing eh?”

Well what does one say at this juncture.  Quite honestly the poor dear’s wrinkles might have been fading but perhaps it was the red and blotchy skin that was covering them up.

“Oh goodness me” I exclaimed in my best jolly voice.  “Wonderful”

Assistant continues “We’ve just launched our latest serum and that’s what Effie’s been using.  So is Amanda over on the tills (pointing to Amanda who is busy serving but no visible rash on her neck) and she’s only in her thirties and she thinks it’s fabulous”

Now she thinks she’s got me hooked!  And yes she probably has, especially when the rather nice free tote bag is wafted under my nose if I purchase today.  All I have to do is spend money in the store today and I will get £5.00 off the magic serum and a neck life Effie’s by next weekend.  She forgot to say that I had to spend £5.00 which I didn’t so when I got to the tills and eagerly awaited my voucher, I felt a bit of a nit when it wasn’t handed over so ended up slinking out of the shop avoiding Amanda, Effie and the assistant.  No serum and no wrinkle free décolletage for me.

Now the purpose of this story is why it made such an impact on me.

All the 2017 marketing gurus tell you to sell to one person at a time and the days of trusting the corporates is over.  True!   We also live in a 5 star world.  Would you buy the 1 star product from Amazon or book the 1 star hotel on Trip Advisor.  Of course not.  You want validation that others just like you have used the product or service happily.

So Boots in an effort to sell to just me – their demographic for the serum: wrinkles and laughter lines abundant – have roped in their staff to be the real life validation.  We all know that Gisele and Kim & Co have the hell airbrushed out of them so believing their endorsement is unlikely.  But if I saw the photos of Effie’s neck and Amanda looking pretty, pert and wrinkle free, of course I am more likely to buy.

How can you translate this to your business I hear you ponder, especially if you are a new business.  Here are a couple of ideas.

  1.  Get super short video testimonials – use your smart phone and don’t get caught up in worrying about a Hollywood standard production
  2. Find someone of reasonable influence and credibility that matches your customer profile and rope them in – it might mean some cheapies or freebies
  3. Ask friends, family and business associates to endorse you on Google and Facebook – this comes with a health warning but that’s for another day.  All I will say is do it very slowly and drip the recommendations in very gradually
  4. Ask every single customer individually to give their feedback and publish it
  5. And repeat No 2 as often as required.

As I write this on 4 May 2017 sadly the Boots page for this product doesn’t work.  Shame on you, Boots.  How do you expect to sell the dream to wrinklies if they can’t get the information?  Another lesson for you – make sure your web collateral is in full working order before you go to market.