In Marketing, Authenticity Is The New Black

BY: ON FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016

Marketers have not always had the best reputation. Perhaps many of them are not the most straightforward people, spinning the story in just the right way to sound appealing. If you have a tendency to take what marketers say with a grain of salt, I'd understand. And the younger you are, the less likely you're paying any attention to the messages marketers put out. At least, not what you perceive as marketing.

Marketing is changing. Where marketing used to be nothing more than advertising and marketing collateral, now more and more of marketing is based on influence. It’s not what companies say about themselves that counts–it’s more about what other say about them.

Which is why authenticity is the new coin of the realm. If your marketing is considered authentic, if your company is authentic, if people can trust what you say and what you do–well, then you have a leg up on actually making the sale.

Authenticity is that special something that leads to trust which leads to influence. And just what kinds of things influence others? Benevolence. Generosity. Insight. Wisdom. All you need to do is show yours. That’s why techniques such as content marketing are taking off to demonstrate all of these qualities at once. Maybe it sounds like a tall order to be all of these things, but most people and most companies can pull it off on some scale. Maybe you aren’t an expert at everything, but be authentic about your expertise in the small area and, if people need what you do, that will be enough.

Now, I can hear a few of you murmuring out there. “How can we get our customers to think we are authentic?” One or two of you might be chuckling, “When you can fake authenticity, that’s when you have it made!”

But just when you think that’s the easy way out, it should be dawning on you that the easy way is staring you in the face. It might be hard to swallow, but the easiest way to be perceived as being authentic is to–wait for it–actually be authentic. Don’t pretend to be more than you really are.

And the bigger the company, the more the need to be actually authentic. Social media and other digital methods take away all the old brand image tools–if your employees to walk the talk, it is painfully obvious. And few of them will bother to fake the company image the way your PR team once did. Instead, you need to have a core set of values for your company the attract the right employees and get them to stay, because they believe in what the company stands for.

So, you can try to burnish your image. You can think of your employees as lovable idiots who put tops on bottoms–and have nothing to do with that lovingly crafted brand image. But that’s so 20th century.

Today’s marketing depends on your company having a higher purpose than just making money. The kind of purpose that your employees will rally around. The kind that you don’t have to fake.




Image
via Shutterstock

Originally posted on Biznology

About the Author

Mike Moran
Mike Moran is a veteran digital marketing and technology consultant who serves as a Senior Strategist for Converseon, a leading digital marketing agency based in New York.   Mike writes for the Biznology® blog, as well as a regular column for Search Engine Guide.
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