Marketing and honesty are not usually associated together. Not all marketers are liars, but sales/marketing gets a bad rap sometimes. This goes back for as long as people were selling things. Think back to the days before internet, TV or even radio. Quacks were selling “elixirs” and cure-alls. Obviously, things have improved drastically with the government stepping in with laws to protect consumers. However, with today’s savvy consumers, many are constantly questioning the validity of company claims.
I’m here to argue that in today’s world, marketers should stick to being authentic/transparent in all their marketing efforts. Back in the days of elixers and cure-alls, salespeople could get away with lying to their customers because there was no way for them to know any better. Today, the internet has completely changed the game. If consumers want to find out anything about a product, they can simply Google it and find tons of resources and information. There’s no where to run and hide.
For many companies, it might seem like a better marketing plan to try and fudge a problem a little, or worse, ignore it. But you need to think ahead… what happens when the truth is revealed? Not only is the problem brought to light, but it appears much worse because you tried to cover it up. The saying, “honesty is the best policy” applies very well to marketing. McDonald’s might not want to admit what is in their quarter pounder, but there are Michael Moores out there ready to reveal it.
So, with the onset of social media and the digital age, I suggest to marketers everywhere; be transparent and authentic with your marketing. Your customers will thank you for it, and you will be better off in the long run.