The planner in me enjoys picking apart ads and uncovering the strategy behind a campaign. That said, the natural born skeptic in me often gets angry. I see a lot of ads that make me question the research behind a claim. Even with all the regulations in place and the amazing potential for the public to ‘call bullshit’ via social media, there’s still a disappointing amount of misleading advertising out there. I’ll be the first to tell you, when a planner comes across some research that has even a remote possibility of turning into a unique selling proposition for a client, they’re pitching it. Why? Well, even if the client doesn’t go for it, the mere fact that they took the initiative makes them look good. It’s a great way to keep clients loyal and show them you’re always thinking of them. But I think, in many categories, the competition forces
Today I saw a tv spot for Cancer Centers of America, touting a major claim that they have a “95% patient satisfaction rating.” With so many parity services out there, customer service is everything, so this number has significant meaning. Not having done much (any) competitive research to see what other cancer centers are claiming, I’m guessing this is a major differentiator for the Centers. Amazing insight, excellent statistic to cling to for a strategy. Right?
Now for the skeptic in me…how did they get that number? Satisfaction rating? Is that the same as still alive? Being a cancer center, I imagine some, if not many, of their patients die. I also would imagine that they didn’t survey any of the customers that have died, as most would certainly not give their approval. So, to me, that’s a number that needs to be explained further. It’s a great claim to lead with for the advertiser, but for me, it’s a simple reminder to always be a critic.