With 1.2 million cases of identity theft each year, there’s no doubt that there is a growing market for identity theft prevention. So when Lifelock advertised its services by putting its own CEO’s social security number on billboards, people were shocked. Why would they do that? To prove they’re that good at what they do, of course. Competitors mocked Lifelock when they did it, especially after the CEO’s identity was stolen several times. But that didn’t stop them. Starting in 2005, the company went through some rough times, including paying a $12 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegedly deceptive claims that their services were more comprehensive than they actually were. Still, they keep on going, insisting their customers are better off with their service than without it. Their new marketing plans reflect all they’ve learned over the years and are poised to restart the company in a stronger direction.
Some may consider sharing a social security number for the sake of advertising as a major mistake, but I disagree. It demonstrated more than just how the product works, it showed the confidence that the founder of the company had in his own product. If a marketing message can convey that much confidence in a 30-second commercial, it will absolutely persuade people to buy. So maybe, the social security number was hacked. And maybe it wasn't the smartest idea . . . but it got attention and it took an unknown company to a $250M+ company. How can you display the same level of confidence in your marketing message?
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