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