These infomercials have been around forever and they tend to pollute the TV screen in January:

Lose weight while sleeping.

Gain muscle mass while laying on the couch and doing nothing.

Stop smoking without any effort.

When you finally buy the product, it barely works, ends up collecting dust, and in a few years you toss it in the trash.

Ultimately, we don’t blame ourselves. Our lack of follow-through and self-discipline. We blame the product. It just wasn’t what we expected. We didn’t fail. The product failed.

I wish products like that wouldn’t exist but they are out there, and people will continue to buy them. Not a biggie.

The real problem is when marketing pushes responsibility towards the customer.

I got rich in 2 days. You can, too.

Learn to play the violin in 24 hours.

Become a Social Media rockstar in 1 day.

Work from home and become an instant millionaire.

People have dreams. Some lofty, some small. When you to tap into these dreams and try help people achieve them, you better execute flawlessly. You market knowledge, claiming you have found an easy formula to reach these goals. If your customers can’t make their dream come true, they will blame themselves. They will start to believe they are stupid, dumb, not good enough.

“If anyone can become a Social Media rockstar in 1 day, how come I’m the only one who failed?”

Is that how you want your customers to feel? Sad, depressed, defeated?

Empower people

Many companies and people are falling for these claims. They think Social Media is something you can learn in a quick seminar or by reading a book. When I talk to them, they feel like they’re the only one who didn’t get it. Everybody else seems to be doing so well.

They don’t see the hard work, the long hours, the overall communication and marketing knowledge you need to have to develop successful programs. They just see that people promise an easy way out and they believed them.

And they are so relieved when I tell them they’re not the only one. There are more Social Marketing disasters out there than successful programs. They just need a little help, put the hours in and commit for the long run.

Companies are in the business of helping people. If you want to have a loyal customer, you better empower them and make their lives easier and better. And make them feel good about themselves.