Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Marketing - when honesty isn't the best policy

Honesty in marketing, now I've commented before that I don't think that technology people will every be honest marketeers but I'd like to share a personal experience of where honestly really isn't (for the individual) the best policy.

The lady in front of me in the line didn't quite fit the people that had fallen off the plane to SFO from London, almost looked as if she had deliberately delayed her exit from a previous flight. Up she wanders looking nervous and frightened to the immigration desk, home of those great questions like "are you looking for work" and when you answer "no" following up with the genius "what if someone offers you a job while you are here", which is pretty much like "when did you stop beating your wife". So anyway she gets to the immigration guy, he looks at the passport, does a bunch of staring, asks her where she is staying and it all seems to be going fine....

Then he asks

"How long will you be here"

And she answers, honestly,

"I don't know yet, I don't know how long I can stay"

A couple of questions later and she goes off to secondary questioning.

Now I'm not saying that people should lie to get into the US (because that would get me the rubber glove treatment) but I am saying that sometimes the smart people will bend the truth to get their own aims delivered, and if you don't accept and deal with that then you are going to be going into the secondary room wondering how you got there.

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1 comment:

Paul said...

Poor woman. Sounds like one of those people who are constantly wondering why bad things always happen to them!

However I don't necessarily think this needs to be about honesty. That is, unless at a personal level you are willing to entertain dishonesty as an option.

At it's core I think this is a matter of effective communication.

Your fellow traveler seems hopelessly stuck in a 1st person perspective, preoccupied with her fears and concerns.

Unfortunately oblivous to how what she says may be received and understood from the 2nd person point of view (the officer). And unable to appreciate what was going down from an objective standpoint (3rd person).

Yes, doomed to be "...wondering how you got there"!