Is there a disconnect between your advertising and your customer experience? Let’s breaks down the importance of bringing the two together.

From a consumer perspective, there are few things more frustrating than seeing an ad for a product that you may really want, but clicking on it reveals the product is not in stock. Who is an ad like that supposed to help? The brand may think that they’re creating demand, but what they’re really creating is a disappointed, disengaged group of consumers who might otherwise have had an interest in what the brand has to offer. If you consistently advertise products that are out of stock, pretty soon nobody is going to be paying any attention to your marketing.

Take Western Rise, for example, a repeat offender when it comes to out-of-stock ads. This brand might otherwise have something to offer if it weren’t for shady marketing practices. And what’s worse than an ad for an item that’s not in stock? A sale on an item that nobody can buy! Yes, it happens, and it’s just another example of the downside that comes when brands separate advertising from the customer experience.

What consumers want: seamless brand experience

Pop quiz: If a brand consistently advertises products that you literally can’t buy, what does that say to you about what to expect from their customer service? If, like me, you prefer brands that consider the needs of their customers and interact honestly, then you’re probably not going to hold out for a discounted pair of slacks that may be available three months from now.

“If a brand consistently advertises products that you literally can’t buy, what does that say about their customer service?”

Basically, a brand with those types of advertising practices is putting up a big, neon sign that says: “We don’t really care.” If they don’t care enough to advertise products you can purchase with one click (and that are actually in stock), then how can you expect them to care when there’s a problem with your order or you need help finding the product that’s right for your unique needs?

The best, most engaged brands understand that advertising is an integral part of the customer experience. Even brands that fall short in other ways generally have the common sense to advertise products that are available. You may want to present your brand as exclusive, luxurious, and in high demand, but demand doesn’t really matter if the product you’re hyping doesn’t exist. Especially if you are banging me over the head with ads to buy it every day… AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE IT TO SELL!

So, what do consumers really want from advertising, and how does it fit into a positive customer experience? I can’t believe I have to say this, but the first thing consumers want is honesty. They want ads that truly represent the products being pitched, and – very importantly – an opportunity to buy immediately if they decide it’s something they want. If you’re having a sale, make sure you have the stock to meet the demand that the sale creates – or at least stop advertising when you run out of product. If you’re sending an email blast about all the great things I can buy, make sure that I can actually buy them.

They want advertising based on trust, not deception. If your advertising is honest, timely, and engaging, then consumers are more likely to see your brand in the same positive light. Any ad could be a consumer’s first impression of your brand, which makes it even crazier that some brands can be so haphazard about the impact of their negative advertising practices.

So don’t be one of “those” brands. You can’t go wrong if you create demand by engaging, advertising honestly, making it super easy for consumers to interact with you, and building relationships.

Originally posted at RockstarCMO

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