How Authentic Marketing is Key to Building a Loyal Audience – Entrepreneurs | Region & Cash

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It’s often said in the marketing world that people don’t hate advertising – they hate bad advertising. What is and isn’t bad publicity can be debated ad nauseam, but many of the points in this conversation all boil down to one idea: inauthenticity.

Brands speak from a point of view that isn’t theirs, appeal to audiences they don’t connect with, or all too often these days capitalize on “trends” they have no real story to tell about. But perhaps most egregiously, and most often, brands fail to recognize that they serve people – people, not “goal”.

Your customers are smart, and they want to be treated that way—they want personal, non-transactional interactions—and expect you to remember their history with your company, when they last spoke to customer service or a member of the sales team, and where things stand.

Here are a few things you should (and shouldn’t) do to ensure your marketing is both authentic and effective.

Related: What is authentic marketing and how is it different from public relations?

Speak with a consistent, authentic brand voice

For every brand that does a great job with a consistent brand personality, there are several that don’t get it right and ultimately suffer. Decide who your brand is and ensure that voice permeates every marketing layer and customer touchpoint – and that all your internal departments communicate a unified brand voice.

In today’s marketplace, people don’t do business based solely on products and services; who your brand is at its core – the values ​​you stand for, the image you convey, the way you interact with customers – is just as important. Consistency is critical to forming a brand identity and ultimately one that your customers are familiar with and trust.

Don’t get involved where you don’t belong

Today’s customers are more savvy than ever because they have unlimited information at their fingertips – they’ll know when your brand voice is authentic and when you’re full of it. For example, it’s not uncommon for brands to post on their social profiles on holidays or with things like “Happy International Women’s Day,” but it’s easy enough for the public to do a relatively superficial dig and find out if this company has policies on how to pay Family vacation that really supports women. Or maybe you’re trying to grow your social media marketing. If something trending isn’t something you can authoritatively speak about, it’s best to wait it out—or you risk losing the trust in your brand that you’ve worked so hard to build.

See also: How to build an authentic brand

Personalize every single customer experience

Part of treating your customers like people is giving everyone a personalized experience, not a conveyor belt of marketing collateral. You should use all available data about each customer to create a personalized experience for them as they interact with your brand, and that goes well beyond ensuring your newsletters address people by their first names.

Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) should be able to keep track of where your customers are spending time on your website and what they are interested in so you can serve them better and offer the best possible solutions. They need to feel that you are invested in their success and that you are genuinely interested in developing a personal relationship with them.

Don’t use different dates

If the data you use for personalization comes from different sources, there’s a higher chance that it’s wrong. Unifying and integrating the data you have on each customer so you have a complete picture is critical and has very tangible implications.

A recent survey found that over a third of companies with fully integrated technology and customer data across their marketing, sales, and customer success teams saw significant revenue growth in the past year. The growth of your business is literally at stake here. If your customer support team is referencing one record while your sales team is referencing another, your marketing will surely suffer as well. Alignment is critical for the best, personalized customer experience. And guess what? The same survey found that companies that report the best customer experiences are 2.5 times more likely to see significant revenue growth than anyone else.

See also: 5 Steps to Creating an Authentic Social Media Presence for Your Business

The bar has been raised, so it’s time to get on board

Customers today want more from where they spend their money. It’s not enough to have great products; They want products from a great company that treats them like their biggest customer, when in fact they’re a casual customer. Put simply, the bar for doing business has been raised. Speak consistently and authentically, and you’ll earn your customers’ trust—and probably more of their business.

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