Monday, August 12, 2019

Rue No More About Handling Rumors

The internet’s ability for you to distribute marketing messages quickly and widely also allows others to promptly and broadly send out damaging rumors about your organization. Researchers at Oklahoma State University, Appalachian State University, and Kent State University studied the best ways for retailers, nonprofits, and other organizations to handle these potentially destructive messages.
     The first step is to recognize an irony: Positive rumors threaten harm as do negative ones. When factually incorrect rumors are passed on about the extraordinary performance of a product, those who hear the rumors will set unrealistic expectations, resulting in disgruntlement. Unfounded rumors about imminent updates to better versions retard sales of current versions.
     The next step is to use another valuable capability of the internet: You can send different types of rumor refutations to different sets of customers. What you say should depend on how strongly a person identifies with your organization. Assess this by considering the frequency and size of purchases, donations, or usage; what the person has said on feedback surveys you’ve administered; and research-based indicators such as the use of shopping bags with your organization’s logo or evidence that the person is helping others who associate with your organization.
     The third step is to assess the importance of the information in the rumor to those who will hear or read the rumor.
     With consumers who strongly identify with your organization, the most treacherous rumors are those giving positive, but unfounded, news of relatively low importance. These rumors are highly likely to be believed and enthusiastically spread to others.
     With consumers who weakly identify with your organization, the most treacherous rumors are those giving negative information, regardless of the importance of the information. However, keep the arguments brief since people with low identification with your organization won’t want to exert the energy to understand long treatises.
     You might take stronger measures to counter rumors. Soon after its introduction, Corona beer was the victim of messages, sent out by a Heineken beer distributor in Reno, that the Mexican workers urinated into the Corona beer during the manufacturing process. Corona initiated legal action against the Heineken distributor.
     Also, there are circumstances in which you’ll choose not to refute rumors. You might even secretly generate rumors. Rumors can strategically arouse helpful curiosity in your target markets And you might use unsourced rumors to assess reactions to a possible action before you commit to it.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

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