There’s a key problem with a lot of marketing.
I’ve spent years in the business, working with companies large and small. I’ve been on the inside as a Vice President, and on the outside as an Executive Consultant.
It’s too easy to get hung up on making your product look better than it is, in the hope that people will be fooled into buying it.
The issue is that marketing is not just about “putting lipstick on the pig” – or making things look good. It’s about negotiating a relationship of value between your company and your customers.
Marketing has inbound responsibilities and outbound responsibilities.
Inbound marketing is about really understanding what customers need, want, and will buy. It’s about understanding segments, measuring, and gaining insight. That’s so fundamental, because that’s what makes it possible for marketing to operate with integrity. It’s based on real knowledge. Outbound marketing is how you tell your story. A product or service story can certainly be compelling and persuasive, but you need to remember one thing: a disappointed customer will tell ten people, while a satisfied customer will tell one or two.
So if your marketing message is not supported by reality, and aligned with customer experience, expect your customers to become your counter-marketing agency! Marketing with integrity means finding out what the market needs, building the right product, and telling the story elegantly, powerfully, and truthfully.
Ultimately, truth is the most powerful thing in the world.