YspeopleExplore tab

Please, spare us the bullshit




About DJC

The older I get, the less I know and the more inquisitive I get.

Unfortunately, despite a lifelong search, most of the answers elude me. That said, I love to ask the questions and fuel the debates that will ultimately lead us all to a better understanding of the big issues in life, the universe and everything.

They say that we spend 98% of our lives in our head. I for one would like to use that time as effectively as possible.


Many advertisers bullshit. Most of them will experience negative concequences.

Marketing is the business of managing human behaviour to achieve behavioural outcomes that facilitate commercial objectives. As such, marketing cost-efficiency cannot occur without an understanding of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of consumers doing what they do. This series of articles will provide helpful insights into how consumers think and respond.

Truth in advertising should be a given.

Truth in advertising should be a given. Pic: iStock

Despite the fact that there is a lot of it around, or perhaps because there is a lot of it around, consumers respond badly to unfounded claims, or claims that are simply a lie.

This effect is compounded by ever increasing scepticism about business, its motives and its behaviour. This effect is, in turn, exacerbated by the growth of social media and the speed with which bad news travels in 2016.

Unfounded claims, or bullshit, in marketing takes many forms. Consider:

  • Myer claiming last Christmas that their offering was ‘excellent’
  • David Jones claiming last Christmas that their offering was ‘simply wonderful’
  • A visit to either store would lead even the most generous customer to the conclusion that while perhaps acceptable, neither one is excellent or simply wonderful.  These claims are bullshit. What is more, such claims damage not just the credibility of the business, but also the credibility of business in general.

    It you say it – you need to deliver it. If you don’t, your credibility will be damaged and that, in turn, will impact on the business as a whole.

    Many businesses put a great deal of emphasis on articulating their values. Each of the following businesses list ‘integrity’ as one of their values, and all three have listed their values on their website and other communication:

  • Optus -  fined in 2015 for false and misleading advertising;
  • Wesfarmers  - when Coles was recently fined for poor behaviour towards suppliers;
  • Commonwealth Bank - which has been the subject of many investigations regarding Bankwest, superannuation and, more recently, insurance.
  • Ask yourself, if the behaviour of a business is contrary to its published values, why would you believe that it lives by those values? And why would you believe anything else the business says? Personally, I struggle to believe anything these businesses say.

    I recently heard the Syrian and Russian governments deny a range of war crimes, despite video coverage and independent witnesses suggesting otherwise. I don’t believe them. Do you? What effect have these claims had on your trust in these governments?

    I recently heard the CEO of Coles suggest that they offered equivalent pricing across its stores and used this to justify its objection to proposed government anti-competitive legislation. This was said in the week prior to my paying $5 in one store and $7.50 in another Coles store for the same brand and size container of yoghurt. This further eroded my confidence in anything Coles and, indeed, Wesfarmers claim.

    It has been said that the Y generation demands authenticity more than any previously.  I doubt that, but I have no doubt that all generations respond positively to authenticity and honesty.

    Both represent a real opportunity in a world committed to bullshitting.

    Don’t lie. Always tell the truth. Make truth a competitive advantage

    Banner 1
    | Your rating
    No ratings yet


    Related stories

    Do you have a canny tip for saving money.

    Share your money-saving hacks here

    Everyone loves to save a dollar or two when they can. Do you have any money-saving tips to share with your YsFriends?

    Money
    Expand
    6 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    Because you're never too old to pursue your passion.

    Your midlife career-switch advice is golden

    Have you started a new business or pulled off a major career switch in midlife? We'd love to hear from you.

    Money Ageing
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    Rejuvenate in Retirement.

    6 ways to retire from work, not life

     

    Are you ready for The Lifestyle Change? Retirement can be a more difficult adjustment than we realise.

    Money Retirement Relationships Ageing Health
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    James Packer: born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    Bring back death duties for silver spooners

    Why should the privileged offspring of Australia's elite inherit their billions tax-free? Let's level the playing field.

    Money Business Ageing
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    Retirees have copped a rough time in recent years.

    A new approach to retirement planning

    I’m going to stick my neck out just a bit and say retirees have had a raw deal over the past couple of decades.

    Money Retirement Ageing
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    Funeral directors prey on the vulnerable.

    Funeral directors are blood-sucking leeches

    Leveraging grief to up-sell expensive funerals to vulnerable families is a loathsome practise and must stop.

    Money Business Family Community
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    Trickle-down economics my arse.

    How big business is giving you the shaft

    Are you battling to make ends meet thanks to stagnant wages and lack of jobs? Here's who's to blame.

    Money Business Community Social Issues Politics
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    What impact will the eventual death of Queen Elizabeth have on us in Australia?.

    What happens to us when the Queen dies?

     

    As a part of the Commonwealth, the impact on Australia will be greater than you think.

    Community Social Issues Politics Australia UK
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    Myer - no Harrods.

    Good riddance to Myer's CEO!

    And there are plenty more who should follow him. Don't these obscene executive salaries make you furious?

    Money Business
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)
    New CBA CEO Matt Comyn.

    Why 'banker' should start with a W

    It's our fault that the big banks treat us with such contempt and arrogance. Time to hit back by taking our mortgages and...

    Money Business Community
    Expand
    7 months ago
    (Money & Business)

    Message board

    Derek, 3 months ago:
    I am great
    George, 3 months ago:
    What's up Thomas?
    George, 3 months ago:
    Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
    Thomas, 3 months ago:
    Hello
    Thomas, 4 months ago:
    Great!
    DJC, 4 months ago:
    Groovy!
    George, 4 months ago:
    Message board active from June 2018

    Have your say!

    Your Great Australians

    Trending stories
    When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

    20 mature bloggers worth following

    Looking for Australian...

    (Entertainment & Culture) Over 1 year ago
    Grandkids say the funniest things.

    The things your grandchildren say

    Children say the darndest...

    (Love & Relationships) 7 months ago
    Two power foods make one great salad.

    Salmon, couscous salad will have 'em biting

    Are you time-poor but...

    (Epicure) 7 months ago
    My Word for the Year is "RISE".

    My word for the year: RISE!

    Have you come across the...

    (Health & Beauty) 9 months ago
    Sceptical about China's ability to build a ute; don't be, this is good.

    Driven: 2018 LDV T60

    Off road, in the dirt, in...

    (Pastimes) 9 months ago
    Weekly Poll
    Photographic memories
    Hizgg0vzzqvwc9xicknk
    It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.