If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Authenticity is the new cool. You can’t always spend a ton of cash and cleverly market your way to success these days. In the age of social media, no secret is kept forever and your words are incredibly difficult to take back.
Authenticity is definitely the biggest emerging trend in marketing right now, but it’s much more than just another trend – it’s here to stay. The demand for authentic marketing is a reaction from consumers based on decades of deception and deceit from organizations with slick marketing campaigns and and smooth interactions with the media. From cigarette manufacturers, food producers, banking and more recently, automotive, the public has become less trusting of the messages shared by corporations. What the public really craves is this: honesty.
Marketing is incredibly inauthentic by nature, as the entire industry is based on presenting brands in the best light, omitting any details that may portray a poor image. So how does a brand go about being authentic? The answer to this is complex and varies from industry to industry, but there is one common thread that runs through all authentic marketing: a people-first approach built on substance and purpose.
By humanizing your marketing efforts, your brand becomes more relatable to the public, who have become very skilled at deciphering when a brand’s claims seem too good to be true. Today, your customers expect a high level of openness when it comes to decision making in areas that may affect the lives of the public. They also expect you to own up to mistakes or acknowledge areas where you could do better.
Dump your one-way messaging in exchange for open conversation with the public. With the emergence of channels like Facebook and Twitter, this process has become much more simplified, giving brands and the public a two-way means of sharing commentary and ideas. By openly communicating with your customers, you’re not only building an unbreakable level of trust, you’re setting your organization up for success with an enthusiastically satisfied base of supporters.