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Small Business Marketing: Are You Sure You Want a “Quality” Service?


Graphic of 4 gold stars, a heart  and thumbs up in a speech bubble

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” Peter Drucker

When I read the opening line of a gutter service website homepage, the most I could say was, Meh. And that’s not a good thing.


You want the words on your home page and in your small business marketing to:

  • Show you understand the problem the reader is facing

  • Answer any questions she has about working with you

  • Show the reader how you are uniquely positioned to solve her problem

But that’s not what this marketing copy said. Here’s what it said instead.


“NAME OF COMPANY provides you with quality gutter services and craftsmanship at a price you can live with.”

Do you see the problem? It’s a common one that even big companies make. There’s no specific benefit. They just tout their quality.


In S mall Business Marketing, The Money is in the Specifics


Quality is a very generic term that’s overused by businesses large and small and under believed by the public. Every business says they have a quality service or product.


But it doesn’t tell the consumer anything.


As the late, great copywriter, Claude C.Hopkins said, “Specifics sell.” And they do.


Take The General, for example, a nationwide car insurance company.


It had a TV commercial that gave their main benefit, or Universal Selling Proposition, as “Quality insurance.”


What? Come again?


Compare The General’s USP, “Quality Insurance",” with that of Allstate. “You’re in good hands with Allstate.”


Allstate gives us a visual—good hands—that makes a human connection. Consumers can relate to and understand it. It’s reassuring.


Or, take a look at Geico’s main benefit, “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance.” It’s a specific benefit that solves a problem for Geico’s audience.


That’s the reason the company has kept that USP for so long. It works.


How Can You Punch Up Your Small Business Marketing Copy?


To make your marketing really effective, you have to listen to what your audience is asking for.

When a client comes to me to create a more effective marketing message, the first thing I always ask is this:

“What are the most common complaints your customers have in trying to solve their problem?”

Problems are a goldmine for building a marketing message that connects and sells. For example:

  • Are customers having trouble finding good senior care for their aging parents?

  • Do their car mufflers wear out in record time?

  • Does their cat keep peeing in the house?

Problems. I love them!

They provide the answers to creating an effective marketing message. That’s why I recommend you ditch “quality.” It’s a weak descriptor with no teeth because it doesn’t give your audience a specific benefit.

And “superior quality”? Don’t go there. That’s met with even more skepticism by the public.

Your marketing should offer specific benefits that solve your customer’s problem. That’s how you find the people who are looking for you.

Don’t hide what makes you different behind throwaway words.

Want some help with your marketing message? Let’s chat for 30-minutes. It’s on me!


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