Do you think you’ve got to be authentic in order to be a successful marketer these days, especially with social media savvy audiences and consumers?
You’ve probably heard some of your favorite marketers use phrases like “keeping it real,” “transparency” or “authenticity” to describe their personal marketing approach compared to others?
I have, and when I do, I wince. I hope you’re not doing that too.
I think it gives the wrong message about actual marketing. It seems that for some people, it’s an excuse to forget Marketing 101, and default to egocentrism.
If your focus is on yourself instead of the people you’re trying reach and influence, then you’re missing the point of marketing.
I’m the first to cheer that the world of marketing has changed for the better. People gravitate toward a greater emphasis on human voices over canned messages and phony speak.
But I don’t think the goal should be to “keep it real,” or brag about “transparency” just for the sake of it without noting best marketing practices.
These phrases are over-used, and often misunderstood in a marketing context.
I argue that these buzzwords are an excuse to not do the real work required of marketing. And I think it cheapens the work it takes to become an effective marketer.
And you know what else?
For me, it sets off alarms. Sorta like when you hear a person say,
“To be honest…”
Which makes me wonder when that person really IS being honest.
Good marketers know their audience, and therefore know when to use their best filter.
“Keeping it real” for the sake of saying so isn’t that helpful. Nor is it honest.
And that’s my argument …
Present your most helpful side to the people who need it, and do so with as much genuine interest in other people’s success as you can possibly muster. That’s the kind of business sense that will serve people much more than “keeping it real” or being “transparent” or priding yourself in being “authentic.”