When you’re trying to market a product, you have two options to take; the way of the rat, and the way of the mouse.

What’s the difference between these two?

Well, marketing rats tend to be thought of as every bad stereotype of the marketing profession, all rolled up into one.

Marketing mice, on the other hand, are honest, dependable, and approachable.

While they are also trying to make a sale, it doesn’t feel like they sprung a trap on their customers at all.

They’re just trying to match their customers to the product or service that will best fit their needs.

While the hard-sell methods of the rat might seem to have short-term success, it’s important to remember that customers would much prefer to deal with a mouse if they could.

So let your competition deal with spin. Your job is to focus on giving your customers what they want, in a way that will make them feel good about doing business with you.

If you want to be a mouse, instead of a rat, here are some important tips you need to keep in mind when it comes to your marketing game.

Tip #1: Be Truthful

Sales rats think that it’s okay to stretch the truth in the name of good marketing.

Especially if what they’re saying sounds good, and moves product.

If your product isn’t the cheapest on the market, though, don’t tell people it is.

If you aren’t the fastest, don’t claim to be.

And if you know that what you’re selling may need to be replaced every three to five years, don’t tell your customers it’s guaranteed for ten.

A sales mouse will find an honest way to talk about products or services, while still playing up the genuine, positive aspects of them.

Don’t invent statistics or claim it can do things it can’t; just let the product speak for itself.

Find the aspects of it that are praiseworthy, and focus on those. It’s better to get people to love a product for what it is than to sell them on a pleasant fiction.

Tip #2: Be Consistent

People are creatures of habit, and they tend to avoid surprises whenever they can.

That’s why it’s important for your business and your brand to take Small Business Branding’s advice, and to always do what you say you’re going to do.

This sounds like a given, but it is important to make sure you have a follow-through when it comes to your marketing.

If you say you’ll do something, then make sure that isn’t just an empty promise.

Your customers are counting on you to be as good as your word, and if you can back up any and all promises you make to them, then that will go a long way to making sure no one thinks of your business as a rat warren.

Tip #3: Listen To Your Customers

Your job, as a business, is to sell your products.

Marketing is one way you do that.

However, you aren’t just standing on a soapbox and trying to convince people walking down the fairway to pay their dime to come to see your show.

You’re establishing a dialogue with people, and dialogue is a two-way street.

According to Entrepreneur, one of the biggest mistakes you can make that will turn you into a rat is to be all talk, but not to listen.

Because it’s true, you can move product with a slick speech and some shiny camera angles, but when your customers are giving you feedback it’s important for you to listen to it.

This proves that you aren’t just here to get their money, but that you care about your customers and the experience they have when they do business with you.

Whether the feedback comes directly from customers reaching out to you, or indirectly (such as watching the way people interact with your company website), pay attention.

Your job is to make their experience as good as it can possibly be.

Tip #4: Use The Right Marketing Trap

When people think of a marketing trap, they tend to think of companies that pull a bait-and-switch by persuading people to buy something that, in the end, doesn’t fit their needs at all.

This is a classic marketing rat move.

If a rat is selling cars, and someone says they need something affordable, with good gas mileage, and plenty of storage space, the rat will immediately try to upsell them on a model that doesn’t fit those parameters.

The question is not, “What will fit my customer’s needs best?” but rather, “What is the biggest sale I can make?”

A marketing mouse, on the other hand, will do their best to find the vehicle that fulfills all of their customer’s needs.

And if that isn’t possible, they’ll focus on the ones that fit the most important needs first.

They make it all about the customer, and what the customer wants, rather than about how much product they can move.

When positioning yourself in the market, keep the focus on what you provide the customer.

Even more importantly, match what you’re offering with what they need.

Understand who you’re marketing to, and what you’re trying to provide them with.

Otherwise, people might feel like you’re trying to sell them something that doesn’t fit them, as customers, and that is when you start looking particularly rat-like.

Tip #5: Be What You Want Them To See

Have you ever heard the advice that if you make yourself smile, pretty soon it will lighten your mood?

While the science is mixed on that, the basic idea still applies to how you act as a business. If you want people to see you as a mouse (approachable, honest, sincere, helpful, and all those other positive adjectives), then you have to put work into making those things true.

Not just seeming to be true, mind you. These things need to be bedrock facts of how you conduct yourself, and how you do business.

Being a marketing mouse doesn’t just happen by accident. It’s something you need to be mindful of, and to purposefully strive toward.

You need to review everything about your business, from the language you use, to the way you approach sales, to how your social media looks, and use that as a way to hold up a mirror to you and your dealings.

You want to appear human to others. Because when a business feels like it’s run by real people, then real people are more likely to do business with you.

For more information on how you can position yourself and your brand in your market, all you have to do is contact us. We’re here to help you make sure that no one sees a rat when they hold up a mirror to your business.