Marketing Ideas are fun but more effective when a potential buyer can see 'the now' vs. 'the tomorrow' and know that tomorrow will be better for having your product and service.
Examples of how marketing loves to impress with the story of before and after:
Weight Loss shows a before and after and is one of the simplest examples.
Skin care which show big ugly pimples that disappear, as if by magic, with the use of a special product gives hope to every teen.
Pain today vs. no pain tomorrow is not so easy to see visually but pain is easily communicated and something everyone understands.
Tall stacks of money vs. no money is an easy thing to visualize but with the advent of the digital world, anyone can create a statement, account, etc. and make it appear as though real profit exists. "Just cause you say it's so don't make it so" is good to remember when listening to those who show bank accounts as way to market their products or services.
Marketing for automobiles not only thrives on the visual affect of before and after, it relies on the "cool factor" of being behind a wheel.
It matters little whether you are the smartest person in the room and have the cure for hair loss. If you are not able to show a before and after where people can see the potential, your cure will sit on the shelf.
Consultants, on the other hand, have little to show for before and after. Concepts, philosophies and possibilities are ambiguous which means trust and credibility are very important.
This might be why a gap can exist between the interviewer and interviewee.
Interviewer: What would you bring to our company?
Interviewee: I will work very hard, be open to ideas, arrive early and stay late. I will be energetic and honest. I will do my very best.
Interviewer: Yes? And... ?
What before and after message of yours can people see very easily? If they are unable to see the before and after prior to making a purchase, it becomes a higher risk for them to pull out their wallets.
Even casinos give the perception of potential gains. You go in with money and even though you know "the house always wins" many are willing to take a risk and go for the car, the motorcycle or the big cash prize.
Marketing software and tools to help you show the before and after (also known as benefits):
www.animoto.com (Make a video, easy.)
www.createspace.com (Write a book at low cost.)
www.hubspot.com (Create a website and blog.)
www.blurb.com (Create a photo book fast, easy and low cost.)
www.thebrain.com (Create a mind map to show the steps.)
www.skype.com (Communicate and share a screen.)
www.cooloiris.com (Communicate through photos.)
www.eventbrite.com (For a show & tell at an event or seminar.)
www.formsite.com (Create a questionaire.)
www.99designs.com (Hire someone to design your message.)
There are no shortage of tools or people to hire to paint a picture or tell a story about the benefits of a product or service.
There is a shortage of business owners who have a very clear Before and After. (Which is in reality a list of benefits.)
"Before you use my product or service" you will be in a bad way and then show "After you use my product or service" you will be better by ten.
Get your measurement tool out and start measuring. Once you know the "before", it is much easier to show the after. Don't say: "I will work hard and long for the money" and expect to turn any heads.