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Retail Medicine: The Sopranos & the expectation paradox.

Seth Godin (Yeah, I know you don't know who he is) posted about the final episode of the Sopranos and the expectation paradox.

SopCD1.jpgThe expectation paradox

So, people are upset because of the non-ending of the Sopranos. People are always upset when a TV show ends with a big finale, because it never meets the hype, never meets the expectations. If HBO had been quiet about it, hadn't done the full page ads and the radio shows and the newspaper articles, it would have been fine. Expanded expectations led to big disappointment.

The paradox: if expectations hadn't been raised, fewer viewers would have tuned in.

...In each case, the paradox is at work. On one hand, you want to raise expectations, because without doing that, you diminish trial. On the other hand, you want to exceed expectations, because that's what generates word of mouth.

As word of mouth becomes an ever more important component of marketing, the scales are tipping. Undersell, overdeliver. It's the strategy that works in the long run.

Every marketer has a choice... to make the first interaction the best of the experience, or the worst (least best).

Managing patient expectations is a constant challenge for many docs. It's easy to oversell and overpromise... don't. It leads to unsatisfied patients who feel 'sold'.

I had a long talk with a doc in FL today about this very subject. He's hired a 'marketing' person who will be incented to close sells and increase patient flow. Here's the potential problem: It's easy to overpromise in this situation leading to an unsatisfied patient and creating a situation where you're constantly having to feed new patients into your clinic. As the wise man said, "That ain't good." 

Read more about paradox in relation to medspas: The paradox of unlimited choice 

Reader Comments (1)

It’s always great to see shows being produced in an effort to bring underrepresented cultures or things into the limelight; as long as it constitutes a fair and balanced portrayal of the subject matter at hand. October 5, 2008, the CW Network premiered a new drama from the creators of The Sopranos. The new show, called Easy Money, is said to be about a family who owns and operates a “high-interest loan” business called Prestige Payday Loans. However, by taking one look at the trailers for the new drama, as well as a few of the episode synopsis, my biggest fear is that the premise for the show is based solely on vicious media stereotypes. With this in mind, think of the last time that you viewed a news story either online or on television news talking about the payday loan industry. Chances are the story you saw or read wove tales of “real” persons’ woes fueled by their getting bogged down in an “endless cycle of debt.” Worst of all, according to such “articles,” it all started when they needed to borrow money to fix their car or pick up the tab on another unexpected bill. Such stories are further proof that, for the sake of winning the ratings wars, news networks will latch on to and report only the juiciest, most scandalous aspects of any big story and completely ignore everything else. It seems as if the CW network is following suit in an effort to recover viewers lost during the Writer’s Strike. One, for instance, opens with the tag line, “for this family of loan sharks, money is easy.” Surely, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the CW or the show’s creators learned what the industry is really about. Chances are, probably not.

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