Still tasting the raunchiness of some phony baloney served up to me as legitimate business fare, I felt motivated to tackle a controversial yet in-your-face-everyday topic, and an important one in business: attempted consumer manipulation. You can even call it fake news.
Now well past the Industrial Age, we’re neck deep into the Information Age which has devolved to the era of “Fake News.” Media in every form is being used in an attempt to manipulate rather than inform. While this has always been true in advertising, it is now the purview of most mainstream journalism and corporate public relations. Just look at your newsfeeds and ask yourself, is there unbiased veracity and relevance to this information or is it agenda-driven? If the latter, who’s agenda and why? The answers lead either to money or politics or both.
Media today are being weaponized against business and I’ve seen competitors smell blood in the water and attack cowardly from behind concerning some made up accusation of social injustice. And the fact is, most corporate reactions to fake news leveled at them are pathetic. They fold like cheap suits at false claims when any pressure group attempts to slander and shake them down. Why? Because they’d rather allow a lie to propagate if bowing to it makes brand controversy blow over. They unwittingly damage their integrity and lose brand loyalty with every cave-in.
Truth is an awesome differentiator!
Ironically, as an advertiser, you now have the opportunity to stand apart from all the phony baloney being distributed from the manipulative minds of so many “journalists” and marketing writers – your competition for time/space and audience attention. All you need to do is tell the truth in every communication that your organization publishes, including every advertisement and promotion. You will rise above the fray because truth in media is no longer a predictable commodity, but a highly valued communication specialty.
Do you want to distinguish your brand from the competition? Get real now!
Advertising and Sales Veracity Audit
If you tell simple truths about your products and services in every message emanating from your business, consumers will take comfort in the absence of brash claims and hyperbole. Truth has the ring of truth to it. Truth in advertising quietly stands out because of its automatic differentiation from mainstream message clutter. Put every promotional message through the veracity test. Can all your claims be backed by multiple testimonials?
“Seek first to understand…”
How do you figure out the truths that you need your target audience to understand and believe?
Stop thinking about your stupid solution for a minute! Ask customers and sales prospects what’s really important in a vendor partner who provides what you do. Ask only to listen, not to respond. Just listen and really understand what’s important to your customers, putting any solution response off to the side while you walk in your customer’s shoes and feel their cramped feet. Then, having a better understanding of what shoes will fit, you can become their personal cobbler, helping them take bigger strides forward in their own business by delivering customized value with consistency.
When you know what’s important to your customers, it’s easy to shoot straight with them and you become their trusted, go-to resource. They will even ask your advice before making some of their purchase decisions. Keep listening to customers on a daily basis so you can respond to your market with honest advertising and promotional messages that matter to real people including your friends and neighbors.