22 Feb The Expectation Gap is finally ‘a thing’
The marketing industry has finally accepted that what we have been experiencing as customers all our lives, is now one of this year’s ‘things’ to talk about. The expectation gap refers to the moment when you realise that what you were promised in advertising, isn’t quite what you are experiencing in reality.
The gap was biggest in the Mad Men era of promises like ‘be happy, eat lard’ and whilst it has shrunk a little since then, the expectation gap is still very much a reality. But in a world where in a few minutes you can learn about a brand’s stories, characters, provenance, highs and lows, there is little room for pretence.
People want to try before they buy. Whether it’s sampling, simulation or reading reviews, we want a glimpse of reality to marry up against the glossy promise of advertising and the Internet satisfies us in spades.
This doesn’t mean marketers should hold a mirror up. Nobody wants that. No, it means that marketers should invest more time & effort in ensuring their customer’s expectations are met and exceeded on a consistent basis. To do this requires two critical elements;
1. A deep understanding of the emotional highs & lows of your customer’s journeys
2. For marketing to be responsible for all the brand’s owned media customer touchpoints
Only then can a seamless, consistent and rewarding experience be achieved. One that is really in tune with the emotion portrayed in the promise of advertising.
So we’re glad the Expectation Gap is a thing this year and we hope everyone puts the time in to reduce it.