Marketing for small businesses today can sometimes become increasingly difficult. We're living in the age of the customer experience and the same principles apply when it comes to marketing. Consumers want a brand they can trust and build a relationship with. In other words, they want authenticity. Any Information they could ever want to know about your product or service both good or bad is easily accessible. With this digital age, consumers are so connected that authenticity becomes essential to successful marketing.
Be Customer Conscious
Authenticity in marketing means being honest and transparent with your customers.
Make it personal – Taking the time to let your customers know you care can really go a long way.Own your mistakes and shortcomings – Customers will be more likely to forgive and let go if you're humble and willing to engage them if you fail to meet their expectations. Respond, don't react – if you receive a negative comment on social media, address it quickly and with honesty. Avoid knee-jerk, emotional reactions that will perpetuate a negative image.
Face the Feedback
Most traditional marketing is a one-sided conversation, however, being authentic requires participation from both sides. One way to promote authenticity is by asking for feedback from your customers. Call them on the phone, send an email or meet them in person and ask them what their perception is of your brand and company. This is great way to show your customers that you value their opinions and to really connect with them in an authentic, honest way. Then after, you can use that feedback to improve your marketing efforts.
Credibility is key to Authenticity
Get familiar with the relatively overlooked marketing tool, earned media. According to business.com, earned media is when "a business or business leader is written about, quoted in or contributes to a publication or website. This helps you build credibility across your industry which in return results to earning more of your customers trust.
Raising the Bar
Are you giving back to the greater good? Are you trying to find eco-conscious sourcing or manufacturing? It's no longer enough to market and sale a product. Today, consumers want to be proud of what they are purchasing, and they want to know that you're committed in some way to making the world a better place.
Hold onto Your Values
Stay true to your brand. Don't feel like you have to reinvent your brand to remain relevant. Brands that try to reinvent themselves end up straying from their original values and customers can usually tell when a brand is trying to be something they're not. You created your company with a vision and values in
mind, so be yourself and stick to them.