Remember the occasion when you purchased a service over its competitor, only to realise that it wasn’t up to standard? Ever wondered how that happened?
Answer: the copywriter.
The copywriter holds the power of words within his fingers and scribbles beautiful phrases that captures your heart as enchanting pictures conjure in your mind. You imagine the amazing landscape, mouth-watering lunches and amiable experience he describes. He sets your expectations to an all-time high. You sign up for the deal. Then the classic case of over-promising, under-delivering comes into play.
I joined a day tour some time in the previous week, attracted by the vivid descriptions of great travel and authentic local lunch experiences en route my destination.
Yet as I took my seat, I began to wonder if this 16-seater school bus would be the mode of transport, compared to the typical 40-persons coach bus. I scrutinised the PVC-covered seats with the little holes punctured in them and broken handles of the mini-bus, soon coming to realise that I’d been waiting for the tour to start since an hour ago. It started to get uncomfortable with a severe lack of leg-space and no head-rest for the seats.
We finally took off after what seemed like an eternity of waiting. Then I began to realise that the driver wasn’t going to give a commentary of the sights – what I’d expected given my experience at many other previous day tours, where the drivers doubled up as the tour guides to share about life in their city, history of sights that we passed etc. I started to fume despite the wonderful views. Would’ve been better if I could shut out the incessant yelling of some passengers in the already jam-packed enclosed box that was supposedly my bus, of course. That aside, we hopped on and off at some great scenic areas and I had a wonderful stock of photos that amazing nature has decided to share with us. This shall come in a different (less begrudging) post.
Each time I hopped onto the bus I asked myself how I had decided to pick this tour out of two which I was considering over. I started recalling every word I had read of the tour description – and I realised the power of words – I had compared a badly written copy to one that was so appealing, that I had failed to check on the providers’ credentials or reviews prior to making my choice.
What could I say? I’ve had my stint as a copywriter not too long ago and I know the trade. I see the viability of such a business model and had my share of understanding its operations – average product/service, wonderful copywriter – and there will still be those who are satisfied. Only, that wouldn’t be me. And for those of us who understand the principles of marketing and WOM, if I’d chosen to share the name of the provider, I doubt it would be of any good for the business.
Next time before you decide to over-promise and under-deliver, think again.
No-one’s to be blamed! I guess, Buyer Beware!