How to Deal With Negative Marketing

Stella Lincoln
Stella Lincoln  |  July 11, 2019

In the age of mobile advertising and social media, it is impossible to stop bad news from spreading. 

Both of these factors are the reason why a small misunderstanding can turn into a management crisis for an organization. For small and medium-sized businesses, a bad reputation can have a significant impact on business turnover.

Just as the shocking rules in school are multiplying to maintain discipline, similarly the ways to malign, slander, and defame businesses is also increasing. Companies must deal with the evil of a pathetic reputation independently. If organizations do not take definite steps to purge their character, the business must face the consequences of being called a rogue enterprise. 

Negative marketing: how can we deal with it? 

Here we will try to have a comprehensive look at how businesses can revile other companies for their commercial benefits. We will also investigate all the different ways in which customers can derogate organizations. Our focus will be what the organization can do to absolve its reputation and maintain business as usual. 

Dealing with aggressive or rude customers

An aggressive or rude consumer can quickly turn in to bad publicity for a company. Businesses have different standard operating procedures (SOP) for customer support staff to deal with buyers. Due to these SOP’s and the considerable number of shoppers, customer support representatives often get confused dealing with customers.

If dealt with calmly, an aggressive or rude customer can become a source of good publicity and help in building a brand. The customer support needs to deal with rude customers patiently and diligently. The company needs to understand that the customer is crude or emotional because they still have hope that they can fix the problem. 

Politely dealing with an aggressive customer is not always going to achieve good publicity for the business. Customers often get aggressive when they know that the situation is no longer in their favor. There is also the slight chance that the customer has already been patient for so long and is no longer inclined to stay tolerant any longer. 

How rude customers affect company marketing goals 

Confrontations with a rude client can end up in two ways. Either the customer will be satisfied with the resolution, or the customer won't be happy. Unsatisfied consumers will share their dissatisfaction online and by word-of-mouth. 

The satisfied client will become a beacon of positive marketing. This customer will ramble on and on about how the customer cares representative failed to lose their calm. The customer will applaud the store’s ability to identify his problem and resolve it. Not only is he converted into a loyal customer, but he will also inspire others to purchase from there.

Addressing organizational issues 

Entrepreneurs should be prepared to deal with negative marketing and the effects that it can have on business from the day they start their business. Some types of businesses have a higher tendency to attract unfavorable marketing than others do. For example, the professionals working in a beauty salon have a higher tendency to face negative marketing as opposed to oil mine workers.

Some fields of trade, demand that their owners approach the entire idea of business and dealing with customers with a little self-control. In the case of the beauty salon, professionals cannot quarrel with each irate customer. Bickering with each client increases negative marketing or bad publicity.

Commercial ventures, which have face-to-face communication with customers, are more prone to attract bad publicity. Organizations delivering services also have a higher propensity to attract negative marketing. There is a higher chance that a consumer might misconstrue the proclamations made by the service provider.  

Focusing on face-to-face communication

Professionals dealing with consumers every day include bartenders, waiters, and hairdressers. These professionals must be extremely cautious about what they say or do not say to their customers. Almost all commercial venues have cameras, so a confrontation with a customer can be an extremely problematic event. What these organizations need to do is to conceive standardized policies.

Standardized policies are established, which take into consideration all the different contingencies that can take place. Clients are informed of the rules of the establishment as they enter the premises. Employees deliver services but avoid confrontation with prospects when a conflict occurs. A manager or person of authority, who the shopper did not interact with directly until now, deals with the situation. 

TIP: Using video conferencing software to maintain a face-to-face presence even from afar can help maintain positive connections with customers! 

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Efficiently administering services 

Customer satisfaction is one of the main concerns for businesses delivering services. There can be a lapse in the claims made in the market and the actual services provided. A hairstyle, portrayed in a picture, in a beauty salon looks gorgeous. In real life, that same hairstyle might not look good on everybody. This simple misjudgment can cause customers to become extremely boisterous and discontented.

The best way to deliver services is to make it extremely clear to the customer what will be provided before the actual service is performed. Make sure that customers do read these terms and conditions before the services are delivered to them. This way if they complain about anything, you can refer them to the agreed on terms and conditions.

Whether you are delivering services or conducting face-to-face communications daily, there should be managers available. The manager does not necessarily need to be in the same place at the time of the purchase. Shoppers should be able to see a room marked supervisor or manager within their field of vision. 

Customers' perspectives of negative marketing

“Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction… You must improve,” these are the words of Horst Schulze, founder of the Ritz-Carlton. We know that businesses do not have 100% customer satisfaction. So how do you use customer satisfaction to confront negative marketing? 

Empowering the buyer with exceptional customer service 

In every field, there are segments or categories of business. There are businesses, which provide their money’s worth of product. There are other businesses that provide a higher quality product. Then there are businesses that provide the best quality product.

Let's look at two examples to clarify concepts.

Restaurant 1:

Suppose you walk into a restaurant with your family. You are inside the door, and you can see that there are empty tables where you can be seated. The man behind the cash-counter points to the empty table and gestures you to be seated there. You go and have a seat at that table only to realize that there is no menu card there.

The man behind the cash counter once again flashes the menu card requesting you to come and take it. You take the menu card back to your table to decide what you want to eat. Now the waiter comes and takes your order. You ask the waiter how long it will take to get your food. He informs you and swiftly leaves your table. Your food arrives on time, and it is delicious. You eat and go quickly.

Restaurant 2:

On a different day, you go to a different restaurant with your family. Just as soon as you enter, there is an attendant by the door. The attendant asks, “Would you like to be seated at a corner table or an aisle table?" You ask to be seated at a corner table.

The attendant takes you to your table and provides menu cards. As soon as he gives the menu card, he asks, “Would you like to order now, or will you take some time?” You reply that you will take some time to decide. The attendant leaves and sends the waiter to write down your order. The waiter takes your order and informs you how long it will take for your food to arrive.

The waiter finally arrives with your food and asks, “Is there anything else that I can get you?” You ask for some garnish and sauce. The waiter brings it to you right away. “I hope you enjoy your food,” the waiter says and leaves.

In both cases, the primary function of the restaurant is to provide food. They both delivered on their principal purpose. Restaurant 1 is saving money by not hiring workers to welcome their customers and helping them be seated. Restaurant 2 delivered a personal experience to their customer. The taste and the food of both restaurants are different. 

Example takeaways 

A diner is most likely to revisit the second restaurant due to the exceptional customer service. An eater might be tempted to go back to the first restaurant due to the taste of the food. However, a repeated unsatisfactory customer service experience could deter the diner from ever going to the first restaurant again.

The diners visiting the second restaurant will develop trust in the services delivered by them. The patrons will also appreciate the brand awareness. Excellent customer service also helps to reduce problems for businesses and customers. Outstanding customer service is captivating and alluring for customers.

Diners will have a different response to people who verbally assault either one of these restaurants. When anyone slanders the first restaurant, people will join in. When someone degrades the second restaurant, customers will begin to defend it. If they cannot protect the services of the second restaurant, because the speaker is a physically domineering person, the listeners will leave. 

Business tactics to deal with negative marketing

Modern advertising has evolved a long way from what it once was. Initially, every product and organization would advertise why it is the best, most elegant, or excellent. Viewers are tired of listening to these same characteristics repeatedly. Instead of highlighting only the most positive qualities, consider adding a bit of controversy in your advertisements.

The way to highlight the positive characteristic of your product is to portray a user who needs that feature of your product explicitly. This attribute should be one, which your competitors do not possess to make it even more attractive. This way, you could pass on some negative marketing to your competitors and genuinely promote your product.

Another advertising technique is to use a captivating character to associate with your product. An example of this would be Lucky the Leprechaun, the a mascot for Lucky Charms cereal, or Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes. These characters arouse some interest in buyers. Once consumers enjoy the product, they get more used to seeing these personalities repetitively. 

When emotions run high, make sure to de-escalate 

Personifying emotions gets customers interested in your advertising. If you are advertising for a favorite restaurant, you could personify hunger. If you are promoting dish detergent, you could embody dishes and spoons to entice viewers.

Under normal circumstances, viewers may forget the name of your product. When you associate a personality with your product, the character will be in their memory much longer than the name of your product. Remember Aldo Gucci who said, “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.” 

Want to ensure your marketing strategy is at its peak? Check out our guide on how to ensure your inbound marketing is successful! 

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Stella Lincoln
Author

Stella Lincoln

Stella Lincoln is a single mom and a business executive at Australian Master. She is highly proactive with exceptional communication skills.