Green card that reads "Leave the stunts to Hollywood."

Marketing Means: Authenticity Over Gimmicks

In the world of marketing, the temptation to resort to gimmicks for quick attention is ever-present. However, relying on stunts like viral TikTok dances can often signal a lack of confidence in the product or service being promoted. Instead, marketers should focus on building authentic connections with their target audience through genuine value propositions.

The Origin of Authenticity Over Gimmicks

A note from Jessica Shrout, President of Circle Three Branding: If you know me, you know I have a pretty intense thirst for knowledge and I’m a collector: I collect facts and tidbits that will serve me later. This often comes in the form of books and tools that fill my library shelves. I was recently stuck in an airport between legs of a journey and found myself browsing the bookstore. That’s where I saw a deck of cards called “Marketing Mess to Brand Success,” by Scott Jeffrey Miller. Each card is meant to serve as a marketing challenge to change the way you think about marketing for your organization. I’ll be honest: I don’t love all of them, but some of them are worth conversation. So that’s what we’re going to do: talk about my favorite challenges. Over the next few months, I’ll post those favorites and we’ll explore what it means for waste, recycling, and sustainability organizations.

Investing Time to Perfect the Product/Service

It’s possible that you’re feeling compelled to rely on stunt marketing because you don’t feel confident in your product or service. What is lacking? How can you fix it, address the problems, or refine the way your brand talks about itself to create a more authentic connection?

  1. Quality Over Quantity: Prioritize quality over quantity. It’s better to have a smaller range of products or services that excel in their respective areas than to offer a plethora of mediocre options.
  2. Iterative Improvement: Continuously gather feedback from customers and refine your offering accordingly. Invest resources in research and development to ensure your product or service stays relevant and competitive in the market.
  3. Testing and Optimization: Before launching to a wider audience, conduct thorough testing to identify any flaws or areas for improvement. This could involve beta testing, focus groups, or A/B testing different features.

Deeply Understanding the Target Market

Do you know who you’re selling to? Gimmicks attract a certain crowd, but it’s likely not a crowd with staying power.

  1. Market Research: Invest time and resources into understanding your target market’s demographics, psychographics, pain points, and preferences. Use tools like surveys, interviews, and social media analytics to gather insights.
  2. Create Buyer Personas: Develop detailed buyer personas that represent different segments of your target audience. This will help tailor your marketing efforts to resonate with each group effectively.
  3. Listen and Adapt: Stay attentive to changes in consumer behavior and market trends. Flexibility and adaptability are key to staying connected with your audience.

How Best to Get Their Attention

A viral dance, a pie to the face of your CEO, or cute voice-overs made by the office dog aren’t for everyone. The trends seem to be pointing us toward more of a relationship between brands and consumers than flashy stunts.

  1. Content Marketing: Create valuable and informative content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests. Whether it’s blog posts, videos, or social media posts, focus on providing genuine value rather than promotional messaging.
  2. Engagement on Social Media: Actively engage with your audience on social media platforms where they are most active. Respond to comments, participate in discussions, and share user-generated content to foster a sense of community.
  3. Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers who align with your brand values and have a genuine connection with your target audience. Authentic endorsements from trusted individuals can significantly boost credibility and reach.

How to Address Lack of Confidence in the Product/Service

Sometimes we know who we’re selling to, we love the product (okay, at least the employees do!), and we know that we need to create value, but the consumers lack confidence in the brand. This could be because you’re entering a new market, you’re offering a new product or service, or…you may have some mistakes from the past that have eroded customer trust. You can fix it.

  1. Focus on Strengths: Emphasize the unique selling points and benefits of your product or service. Highlighting what sets you apart from competitors can instill confidence in both your team and your audience.
  2. Transparent Communication: Be honest about any limitations or challenges your product or service may have, but also communicate your commitment to addressing them. Transparency builds trust and credibility with your audience.
  3. Case Studies and Testimonials: Showcase real-life examples of satisfied customers and successful outcomes. Case studies and testimonials serve as social proof and can reassure potential buyers of your product or service’s value.

How to Avoid Stunts

Not all ideas are great, but you don’t want to kill off your creativity. Give yourself the grace to acknowledge a concept and put it through some filters to be sure this isn’t a stunt. Stay true to the brand, avoid urgency, and measure sales and customer longevity over virality.

  1. Stay True to Your Brand: Align marketing strategies with your brand’s values, mission, and identity. Avoid tactics that feel out of character or inconsistent with your brand image.
  2. Long-Term Vision: Focus on building sustainable relationships with your audience rather than seeking short-term attention through gimmicks. Consider the long-term implications of your marketing efforts on brand reputation and customer loyalty.
  3. Measure Success Holistically: Instead of solely focusing on metrics like views or likes, assess the overall impact of your marketing campaigns on brand perception, customer satisfaction, and sales. Prioritize strategies that drive genuine engagement and conversions.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, marketers should prioritize authenticity and genuine connection with their target audience over flashy gimmicks. By investing time in perfecting their product or service, deeply understanding their market, and employing authentic marketing strategies, they can build long-lasting relationships and drive sustainable growth. Remember, in the world of marketing, authenticity always trumps gimmicks.

We’ll cover more Marketing Mess topics, cognitive biases, and logical fallacies in upcoming blog posts, so be sure to stay tuned. If you’re interested in see how Circle Three Branding applies these to your marketing strategy, contact us.