Authentic marketing

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Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

7 December 2020

Authentic marketing emerges – or has it?

We’ve seen many marketers adapt to the pandemic, with varying results. One strategy that’s emerged is the rise of authentic marketing.

What do I mean by that? Well, consider this. A study by the State of Customer Marketing says marketers are using tactics more that feel authentic. For example, 83% are using success stories with testimonials second (79%). You also see an uptick with references and referrals.

Authentic marketingWhat does that tell you? Like all of us, marketers are adjusting. Something we predicted way back in March with our marketing tool for the pandemic era. When things are uncertain, humans clamor for what is more certain. The usual marketing spiels aren’t as effective. Authentic marketing becomes more important.

And what does that mean? If you think about it, the more you step inside the shoes of your prospect, the more authentic you seem. The more your marketing is about you, the less authentic you become.

It’s actually not all that different than what makes smart marketing and branding. It’s all about the target audience. Not you.

“Authentic marketing isn’t about using new tactics. It’s a way of thinking. Just as it always has been.”

Authentic marketing is just good common sense

Being authentic isn’t new. It’s the foundation for all successful marketing and branding.

As we preach (and preach and preach), your brand only becomes preferred when it’s aligned with the self-identification of your audience. Effective branding is not about what you do or you are. It’s about who the customer is when they use your brand.

When we emerge from the COVID-19 era, authentic marketing should still reign as your primary tactic. Not to say testimonials should be your focus. Just that your thinking must stay in that direction. Outside-in, not inside-out.

That focus should permeate all that you do, whether on a tactical level or a strategic one. As soon as you make it about you, the authenticity dissipates. Target audiences see through the fakery, ignore you and chalk it up as just marketing.

Authentic marketing isn’t about using new tactics. It’s a way of thinking. Just as it always has been.


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