Many business owners think that marketing, by its very nature, cannot be authentic.
Technological advances and the incredible access to information we have are allowing consumers to become more and more informed. Businesses are now held to higher standards. To stay successful and attract younger audiences you have to market your brand in a way that adds value to your customers.
Good marketing requires you to be genuine.
If what your business puts out to its audience is not authentic, your audience will be able to tell. They will be more than happy to call out any inauthentic marketing on platforms such as social media which can be catastrophic for businesses.
A great example of a brand that is authentic and knows who it is (even in a crisis) is KFC. Their PR team had its work cut out after a recent chicken shortage in the UK. KFC issued an apology with an ad in the paper reordering the brands letters to ‘FCK.’ This humorous apology went down well with customers, with viewers on social media reacting positively to the ad, some describing it as ‘the best apology ever.’ The ad grabbed its audiences attention, and KFC knew that finding the funny side to the situation would get the best reaction from their customers – as well as really understanding their demographic.
Stay true to your brand, who your brand is and what they do. Don’t get caught up in fads, making you seem like the only thing your company cares about is profit. Don’t try to sell people something they don’t need, focus on customers who will actually benefit and gain value from your products or services rather than targeting a broad audience.
If you target a broad audience, you will find prospect react differently to the content your content. You will spend a lot of time chasing dead end leads and find it hard to create a targeted campaign that resonates with your entire audience.
With social networks and access to the internet your brand will constantly be scrutinised, keeping consistent with who your brand is will reinforce your positive image and allow your customers to trust you. Marmite ads are a good example of this – their ‘love it or hate it’ campaign addresses a genuine and human response to their product and have cleverly called it out.
There are many reasons being genuine works for marketing. It will often set you apart from your completion. By being genuine, you add substance to your brand making it easier for your customers to relate to you and keeping them loyal.
Nine in ten consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit. Perceptions around corporate social responsibility (CRS) have changed drastically over the last ten or so years. Your customers will now be expecting you to address important social and environmental issues.
Becoming a more socially responsible brand doesn’t only benefit the causes you get behind and your customers, but your bottom line as well. Over 80 percent of consumers take into account CRS when they are looking to make a purchase. Increasing your social responsibility will bring you new customers but it will also keep the customers you have loyal.
CSR is good for your brand’s image as well. Your customers will have a more positive view of your company and will be more likely to trust you.
‘Marketing just means being considerate’
Think about what is important to your customers.
Be empathetic to your customer’s needs. Don’t try to force people into buying your product or service. Show them the value you provide and wait for them to come to you.
Rather than trying to persuade consumers to buy your product, which can often come across as pushy and put people off, take the time to listen to and understand their problems. Be empathetic to their pain and you will be able to provide a better product or service that is of value to your customers.
Whenever you are creating marketing materials you need to look at it from the perspective of your customer. Delivering high quality design that is personal, friendly and keeps the customer in mind will return great results. Think about what’s right for your customers and they will appreciate it, coming back time and time again.
When targeting a particular audience, a lot of companies go wrong by not really thinking through who their audience is. This often happens when trying to target a specific audience, especially millennia’s. With the immense spending power they have its no wonder many businesses target their ads specifically at this generation. As most millennials have grown up surrounded by advertisements they have become desensitised to them and can easily block them out so businesses often try to go for creative or unconventional adverts that can go terribly wrong because they haven’t thought it through from their audiences perspective.
An example of a brand that created a cringeworthy ad for millennials is Chevy with this ad. They oversimplified a generation and bought into generational stereotypes, showing how out of touch they are with the modern world. Whilst the ad does end with the Chevy employee throwing away the cheesy ideas the ad does nothing to remove the stereotypes portrayed and overall received a negative response from the generation it was aimed at.
If this marketing philosophy resonates with you and your brand, and you’d like us to help you apply it to your next project, get in touch.