How to Prove Your Company’s Claims
Smarter GTM 01.12.2023

How to Prove Your Company’s Claims

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Shownotes

In this episode of Sunny Side Up our guest is Melanie Deziel. A writer, speaker, and author with a background in marketing and sales. Melanie discusses the importance of proving value to your customers, the difference between objective and subjective claims, the types of claims that you need to market a product successfully, and much more

About the Guest

Melanie Deziel is a keynote speaker, author, award-winning branded content creator, and the author of the best-selling marketing and business communications book, “The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas.” Currently, she is the Co-Founder and VP of Marketing at The Convoy, a B2B marketplace that helps small and independent businesses save money on their everyday expenses so they can invest more in themselves and their communities. Her second book, “Prove It: Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust” came out on October 11th, 2022.

Before co-founding The Convoy, Melanie was the founder of StoryFuel and spent her days giving keynotes and leading workshops that teach marketers, creators, and companies of all sizes how to create better content. Melanie was the first editor of branded content at The New York Times, a founding member of HuffPost’s brand storytelling team, and served as Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc.

Connect with Melanie Deziel

Key Takeaways

  • There are five basic claim types: competence, convenience, connection, commitment, and comparability.
  • An objective claim is something that you can easily prove, while a subjective claim is harder to prove.
  • Demonstration and education content can be difficult to make well, but they are still useful tools for proving claims.
  • Proof is important, especially in times of economic downturn where the customers are more selective of their purchases

Quotes

I think in general the advice I’m giving from a marketing standpoint is just for those who are doing the marketing is to just be more choosy with the experiments that you’re running.” – Melanie Deziel 

Highlights from the Episode 

Can you tell me a bit about your background and career?

Melanie was never meant to be a marketer at all. When she got to college, she found that journalism could be a new way to do storytelling. For her, each story could be changed to be an expert in something different. When she graduated, she realized that a lot of skills that she picked up as a journalist could be used in marketing, and she could use that to her advantage to hunt stories and help bring them to light. Melanie thinks of herself as a journalist who infiltrated the marketing industry. 

In your new book, Prove It, you focus on earning trust and the ways that you do that, starting first with claim types. Can you break down the five claim types?

Melanie explains that when one is starting a brand, there are guarantees and expectations to be made for the audience to be attracted to the services or products that the brand may provide. She explains that baseline is competence, and claims about how good is the service and how that brand is going to deliver that service. Another one is convenience claims, where the brand communicates to the customer the ease in the accessibility of the service or how the product can be more efficient and easier at a task. Connection claim, on the other hand, is where a brand creates a relationship with the customer, creating a human element. There is also commitment. Similar to the connection claim, is designed to communicate the values of the brand to certain practices, such as equal hiring practices or sustainability. The last one is comparability, where the claims that the brand makes have to pit up against competitors providing similar services or products, comparing the quality.

You mention that before you can prove a claim, you need to start by reviewing the available information. Where do you start?

When a brand is starting the process of making claims, it needs to have in mind what perception that brand is trying to build. That process makes it easier to determine which claims the brand wants to put the effort into proving them. The brand can use a plethora of mediums to communicate those claims: digital ads, print ads, direct mail, and physical presence such as representatives. The focus comes on making claims backed up by numbers, descriptions, or superlatives. 

You explain that the two types of claims are objective and subjective. Can you expand on that?

Objective claims are claims that are easy to prove because there is a truth behind them. These are facts that are pretty viable to explain and demonstrate, such as X number of flavors that an Ice Cream parlor can have or a product being waterproof. Subjective claims, on the other hand, are claims harder to prove because there is not a standard measurement or can be something easily judgeable, such as softness or deliciousness. These cannot be demonstrated unless the brand has strategies to make those claims verifiable. 

Now that we know the claim types, you’ve reviewed the available information, and know the two claims’ types, how do you go about proving these claims?

There are lots of different ways to prove a claim. Generally, are three types. Corroboration is using people’s words to back up something, such as reviews saying that a product is delicious. The demonstration is where a brand can show the quality of a product or service directly to a customer, such as an infomercial making a demo. Education is making content intending to make the audience understand the claim that a brand is doing, such as a contractor explaining his favorite professional picks on a product, and describing why that product is beneficial for his work. 

How are you and your organization adapting to the current economic downturn?

Making proof is very important during an economic downturn because people are going to be more cautious when doing purchases. That is why being able to prove the competence and value of a product is essential, as it can lift a brand’s product or service to the customer’s perception and incite them to buy. Melanie recommends focusing particularly on any claim that can be sensitive to the customer and resonate with them.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?

A book: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

A newsletter: Total Annarchy by Ann Handley

Shout-outs

Phil M. Jones – Speaker and Writer, President of Orange and Gray

 

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