Marketing: Implied vs. Stated

Consumers receive plenty of marketing messages every minute. They expect marketers to market the heck out of any situation.

If I believed every marketing pitch I’d be broke and out of storage space.

To combat this, consumers discount marketing messages. Sometimes we discount by 10%, sometimes we discount 30%, and if the marketing message is especially outrageous, we ignore 100% of it.

Now let’s evaluate this situation from the perspective of the marketer.

What is a marketer to do if they know they’re about to face a tough crowd?

They should apply a strategy that’s unexpected.

And this is where Implied versus Stated marketing comes into play.

Let’s say you are an energy drink mix company and want to let the world know how great your product is.

Here is the stated version of your pitch:

THERE ARE OVER 122 ENERGY DRINKS ON THE MARKET. THEY ARE ALL TERRIBLE.

Here is the implied version of that same pitch:

THERE ARE OVER 122 ENERGY DRINKS ON THE MARKET. WE’VE TRIED THEM ALL.

Notice the difference?

In the first instance, we’re making a very specific claim. Can the consumer really trust us? Probably not. So they’ll discount this message 30%.

The implied scenario isn’t saying we’re better than the competition. It just states, “we’ve tried them all.”

When the reader reads this they have to fill this empty space. So they fill it with “this product is probably better than the other 122 they tested.”

The reader is, on their own, spelling out the punch line.

Nothing could be more persuasive.

NOTE: I’d like to make a point here. Marketers should never lie or mislead readers. If you’re going to lie you’re not a marketer, you’re a criminal. But the goal is to use the flexibility of the English language to craft a compelling message. In this particular example, if anything, the marketer is understating things.


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2 comment

2 Replies to “Marketing: Implied vs. Stated”

  1. Absolutely love it!! A good speaker commonly does this by starting a sentence and letting the crowd finish it. And comedians do it all the time. That’s what makes a Joke funny, what it implies.

    Very cool stuff Rishi, thank you for sharing this!!

    1. Glad you liked it. This post might be one of the best insights I’ve had all year. Will be exploring this theme further because there is more marketing gold here. Expect to see more posts about implied versus stated. Glad you immediately saw the potential. We think alike. –Rishi

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