By Kristen Agin, Marketing Innovator
Marketing, like people, can have a huge personality, a strong voice and a positive influence on the people it communicates with. Marketing can also offend, miss the mark and have all of the similarities of cheap, meaningless small talk.
You know when you have been the recipient of either situation: In the first instance, you want to investigate the source, check out the website, peruse the social media channels, try and test the products and services, look up the reviews and be a ‘Hero,’ a ‘Recommender,’ a ‘Discoverer’ of said product or service in the midst of a shifty, sneaky marketplace.
In the second instance, you want to Google the competition, argue the price points and move on as quickly as you can to the next marketing message that can court you with a value proposition that is worth your precious time.
I often find that the companies that are highly successful in reaching engaged customers that want to interact with their brands, are those entities that are the most AUTHENTIC. However, the word ‘authentic’ has been overused and misunderstood. In fact, I think this beautiful descriptor has been integrated in both the mission and vision statements of several, somewhat, ‘clueless’ companies that don’t exactly understand what it really means.
To me, authentic is being true to who your company is and what your company has to offer. To get to the messaging for a truly authentic marketing program, you can ask yourself this question about your products or services, ‘What Am I Most Proud Of?’
The question alone is intriguing, interesting and motivating. It has an element of surprise due to it being both simple, yet complex, and has the makings of a refreshing, inquisitive conversation. It encourages people to want to talk about the very important answer that has defined their entire business. Whether you flash freeze and transport fresh vegetables, manufacture new health-driven proteins, educate dairy farmers on sustainability programs, assist restaurant operators in fixing supply chain problems, you have a story, a competitive positioning, that you can tell in an honest way that communicates how proud you are of what you do.
It is a great path to walk to be able to hone in on what your marketing messaging should communicate. You may be a hundred things, but you started with a great idea, a solid concept, and a consistent accomplishment. THAT is authenticity. THAT is the truth in advertising and THAT is what can bring your customers to your website to check out what you spent endless hours on developing, concepting and/or deploying in the foodservice marketplace.
The personification of marketing is an interesting way to view this discipline. Marketing can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending upon on how you tell your story. A multi-channel marketing campaign can be truly authentic and communicate the different facets of your story. The success of this communication will lie in the ability to be both authentic, and ubiquitous, through honest communication to the masses using digital marketing channels. Whether your potential leads are on social media, receiving emails, listening to trusted referrals, seeing your ad appear online or reaching you through optimized search terms, your story will be told to a large but targeted group, embedded in creative, authentic content.
A company that crafts their marketing messaging in a strategic manner can be DISCOVERED ONLINE, LIKED, SHARED, TWEETED, FORWARDED AND REFERRED. A company that implements this authentic messaging can grow, pioneer trends, change and thrive.
A company that can answer the question “What Am I Most Proud Of?” and market it digitally to the masses, can grow leads, and prosper through loyalty, commitment and trust.