So, what’ya think of my title? I know, it’s kind of short but man, you should have seen my original title, whew. It was like 100 words or something. But hey, this year I vowed to use shorter titles, so…
As you can tell, dropping my sarcastic side was NOT a New Year’s resolution, nor will it ever be. Hey, I am who I am, warts and all.
My Marketing Wish For 2020 And Beyond But I Know Will Never Come To Fruition Because Too Many Brands Are Only Interested In Making Money
So, what is my marketing wish for 2020 and beyond? It is really quite simple in many ways. It is highly simple to do in fact yet I Know Will Never Come To Fruition Because Too Many Brands Are Only Interested In Making Money.
My wish is for marketers, brands and advertisers to be real; to never lie, deceit or cheat a consumer ever again. To always, always, always come clean about what it is they’re trying to do and want to do and in turn, as a by-product, stop insulting the collective intelligence of consumers the world over.
Do brands really believe we don’t know they’re in business to make money? Of course we know this and hey, breaking news, it’s ok. We understand. The problem is when you lie to us; when you sell us a bill of goods that you KNOW is not what it claims to be; when you appear to take a stand against a social issue or injustice but in reality is a smokescreen as you only seek to increase your bottom line.
Is authenticity the new fake?
That’s the title of a fantastic piece penned by Guillaume Renouard I came across in researching this post. I don’t know if this is the same person (LinkedIn profile) but if it is, Mr. Renouard is wise beyond his years.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
“Of course, one could hardly complain about companies trying to be more honest and transparent about their products. What could go wrong with consumers becoming more skeptical about marketing gimmicks and brands providing them with better information regarding the stuff they buy? One potential drawback, however, is that authentic is now becoming a buzzword. As a consequence, while many companies are 100% sincere, for some others, pretending to be honest and transparent is just another way to attract customers. As authenticity is now the key to success, some cynical marketers will fatally be tempted to fake it in order to sell more products.”
Catch some keywords there, kids?
- Authentic is now becoming a buzzword
- Pretending to be honest
- Cynical marketers will fatally be tempted to fake it
Oh I can see marketers the world over making plans to launch their new “Be Real” campaign or something to that effect without one iota of a thought on how to in fact be real; only with an eye on hitting their numbers.
Cause and Effect
Cause Marketing is of course nothing new. It’s been around forever and a day. One definition of the term goes this way: “Cause marketing is marketing done by a for-profit business that seeks to both increase profits and to better society in accordance with corporate social responsibility, such as by including activist messages in advertising.”
The basic premise is get behind a cause and the effect will be increased profits. Pretty straightforward.
The problem is Cause Marketing has become a crowded field with some of the participants not in it for all the right reasons all of which has led to consumer skepticism and rightly so I might add. Check this out via MarketingCharts.com (Dec 2019).
Over half of respondents believe brands only take a stand for PR/marketing reasons. Not reflected in the above chart but included in the write up is that nearly 40% of consumers feel that brands are not credible when they take stand, which is an increase of 116% since 2017, just two 3 years ago.
If this doesn’t jar you if you’re a marketer I don’t know what to tell you.
Below is a phenomenal quote from John Adams. It is perfectly suited to sum up my thoughts on all this.
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
So you, Mr. and Mrs. Marketer may wish to do the right thing; be real, support causes, etc. but the facts are if you are anything but completely honest consumers will find out and direct their passions AKA their money, elsewhere.