Why you must build authenticity into your marketing

by Tony Rubleski - December 16th, 2010

The game’s almost up. There are few places left to hide. In the age of instant search, you and your organization’s reputation are now only a keystroke away for the world to discover. Transparency online is becoming the new normal. This is one of the positive consequences of the digital age. In a strange paradox, there’s a new scam being made online each day while at the same time there’s another one being found out and put out of business. Managing and building a solid online reputation is the newest tool and skill to add to your marketing quiver.

Here’s a quick observation as to how most of us view the daily messages we encounter: we all have a built in BS meter when it comes to marketing messages of any kind. Let’s take a closer look at what I call “persuasion nets” in our minds that often build up over time with cynicism and doubt when we’re confronted with most marketing messages. Here are a few key persuasion nets that shape our BS meter in relation to dealing with marketing messages:

Managing overload: The typical North American is hit with an average of 3,000+ marketing messages per day, and the number keeps increasing.

Societal programming: Sales is a “dirty word” to most people even though everyone is engaged in selling whether they realize it or not.

Time challenges: In a sped up digital world we’re all trying to maximize and manage time.

The choice paradox: We love having options but it often stifles our ability to discern, and in many situations, make a decision.

Short attention spans: This is only going to intensify in a real-time mobile talk, text and online driven world.

Sales baggage: This is often not discussed by many marketing pros but it is very real. It’s the past experiences, good and bad, related to sales that impact and shape how we trust or distrust any marketing message when it appears or “captures” us on our mental radar.

Age: Time is a great teacher and the more life experience we accumulate, the higher degree of habit force and pattern recognition that occurs when we sense or pick up on messaging that attempts to persuade or sell us.

Why you must work on building authenticity each day for yourself and your organization

Knowing how challenging it is these days to get what I call “Mind Capture” with people, it’s essential that you lead with your strongest marketing bullets or evidence when engaging prospects directly or indirectly in the offline or online space. To keep and engage people you must quickly demonstrate why they might have a need for what you do, but more importantly, why they should possibly believe that your claims are real.

In the age of instant search and massive choice your ability to lower the BS meter with skeptical prospects isn’t easy. However, as we’ll soon discuss, there are several timeless and new strategies that when combined will help you build evidence in your own marketing efforts to quickly differentiate, and persuade with maximum effectiveness.

With a tightening economy here’s another major reason authenticity is so important: The competition will often make attempts to discredit you, undercut prices and make false claims out of pure desperation. A great reputation and strong marketing evidence in your arsenal helps to not only diffuse the competition, but also attract powerful referrals via word-of-mouth in both the physical world and the “word-of-mouse” online world.

Seven powerful ways to help you build authenticity both online and offline in a cynical digital world:

Collect and use customer testimonials

Share and create relevant content of interest

Give value first, and your sales pitch second

Become active within the community via cause marketing

Leverage all positive press related to you and your industry (reprints of print articles, links to radio/TV or online features)

Use the personal touch and customize all communications if possible

Associate and partner with other well known people and companies

In future columns we’ll explore these ways in greater detail and the positive impact they have on building authenticity for yourself and with those you’re seeking to serve and win over.

Tony Rubleski
Mind Capture

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