My wife and I recently visited Tijuana. The central downtown amounts to a ton of people hanging around stores that are nearly identical with a huge mishmash of trinkets. They way they address the marketing question is large signs, and people standing out front trying to get your attention with boring phrases “Come in and take a look” to more attention getting “Please don’t ignore me” or “Please let me show you some things you don’t need”.
Most Americans don’t want to be attended while they shop. Sure they want someone to answer questions when they have them, but usually are just wanting to look around without being bothered. Though this could be me simply superimposing my preferences on others. My wife, who likes to shop, didn’t particularly feel like dealing with it though either.
I was trying to think what the most effective way to market your store as an alternative and decided a large sign that said: “Feel free to come in and look around. We’re here to answer questions if you have any. Prices are clearly marked and reasonable to eliminate the need for negotiations” Would be effective. Unfortunately, if it turned out to be effective, others might follow but not have reasonable prices or still give the hard sell when you go inside. This would violate the consumers trust such that the signs become ineffective.
This made me realize how vulnerable marketing is to fraud. An effective campaign or offering can be sabotaged by another who makes the same deal but doesn’t follow through. Alternately, creating a campaign or offer that is the same or similar to another vendor who was unable to actually fulfill their promise is also likely to result in it being non-effective. Ultimately, I think this is why the world has turned to prefering ‘unbiased’ opinions offered by other consumers (Amazon reviews, epinions, tripadvisor, etc). They skip the hype and get the scoop from others who have already been there. Unfortunately, this form of communication can also become completely cluttered and un-useful (see my previous post on Rocket Spanish)