In an earlier article I stated “Becoming a social business is about being a business that cares about its clients even before they become customers” One of the biggest challenges is always one of trust; which is especially true when marketing through technology like the Internet, SMS texts etc.
What is true is that no individual firm can hide behind an advertising campaign; remaining remote and untouchable anymore. The savvy buyer tends to go out in search of the truth, they use Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and go search for anything you are considering purchasing and the advertising veneer comes off.
There is a massive difference between generating advertising imagery designed to build an interest and creating fake claims for your product that can never be reached. The world has been used to ad-men that make false claims about products and their capabilities. These are no longer acceptable in an interconnected world. Coke has always been the master of imagery and it it claimed that their advertising over the years has significantly impacted American culture; indeed it may have impacted world culture to some extent too, with the drink symbol being found even in the remotest parts of the world. Yet even one of its products “Vitaminwater” was recently involved in a controversy about misleading advertising claims. They have also reviewed their whole approach to digital based marketing when a campaign for another product through Facebook went off-track.
Every company will face challenges about their marketing approach from time to time what is key here is knowing what others are saying about your corporation and its products and responding appropriately. On the Internet it is possible to see the bare naked truth about everyone corporations and people alike. This should be no real surprise as once published on the web it tends to stay around for quite some time.
We live now in an era of increasing transparency. Information flows everywhere and at a faster speed than ever before. I know that as soon as I press “Publish” someone will read this article in New Zealand. The truth is there are no longer any barriers to the information we may use, true or not.
That in itself can be a challenge – lies tend to find a much wider audience than the truth. Anyone is prepared to believe a lie or controversy about a famous brand name, even if it is based on fantasy rather than the truth. Your buyer seeks the truth about your product or your business and using modern Internet tools they will find it, or at least a version they deem as true. We now live in a era where customers making false claims can be as damaging to a product as the advertisers doing it. It is up to the business to manage its online image and address that challenge.
Tags: Building Trust, Customer, Image Management, Intelligent Intervention, Internet, Marketing, Social Business, Visibility