“I have a gimmick. Let’s tell the truth” -Bill Bernbach
The public has long associated the idea of marketing and sales as a form of lie. Of course such mistrust isn’t without reason. It goes back to the days when a snake oil salesman would roll into town decrying his patented elixir as the remedy for any problem you seem to be suffering from.
Nowadays most of us marketers wouldn’t even dream of making such far-fetched claims about our products, whether it be our ethical minds or the fact that someone will call us out., but most consumers don’t know that. In fact with all the information available at our fingertips, consumers are even more resistant to the idea of being sold than ever before.
The moment we feel as we’re being marketed to, we begin to ask ourselves whether we’re being tricked. It’s just natural to doubt a sales claim, after all we weren’t born yesterday and even if we were millennia of false promises lead me to believe that most of us were born skeptical. In any case we need to understand the perception out there, and simply counter it with the truth. As a matter of fact, before we craft a message that is compelling and entertaining, we need to sort out the facts from fiction.
If you are to create a loyal market base, the first thing you have to do is tell the truth. You see the relationship between the brand and the consumer is similar to that of a married couple. For the partnership to work and to last, it must be built on trust. In the age of social media, telling the truth has never been more crucial. Now when anything you say could be deemed inaccurate, consumers will not only talk about it. They’ll tweet about it. Before you know it, the lie you told has spread like wildfire; and if there is one thing we ought to know by now, social media backlash can break your brand (Just ask Dell)
Marketing is all about communicating the right message to the right people using the right channels. At the end of the day, if you believe in your brand, you have nothing worry. So go ahead, tell the truth. And if you can’t sell, then I suggest you go back to the drawing board. Because as the marketing legend Bernbach said, “The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”