Transparent Marketing and Social Media

To say that I am sceptical of marketing communications would be a bit of an understatement. The thing that that excites me most about social media is its potential to shift organizations away from focusing on advertising to enhancing the customer experience and driving word of mouth marketing.

Today I found some interesting articles on what has been coined as “transparent marketing.” In the era of mass media organizations have thought that their brand is that they say it is. However, with the rise of social media and the growing distrust of corporations, advertising is becoming more and more ineffective. As CEO of marketing consultancy MECLABS has said:

“When a company is humble enough to admit a weakness, they immediately distinguish themselves from the competition. It opens the door for a trust relationship.

The consumer is all too aware of the fact that we are not perfect. To pretend otherwise only serves to raise their suspicion. Tell them what you can’t do, and they’ll believe you when you tell then what you can do.”– Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director (CEO), MECLABS

Companies can capitalize on the huge underutilized resource of its followers/likes. Provided that there were no outlier disasters that would spark an onslaught of negative emotion, customers can asked to provide feedback as to how the organization can provide a better experience. Organizations can also support those ‘brand ambassadors’ that actively participate and evangelize the brand.

If organizations embrace social media and use it as a tool for improvement there is an opportunity for a better world. By acknowledging warts and working to get better, society may find trust in organizations once again. Those that lead this can differentiate themselves from competitors. As Orwell once said, “in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”


Social Media Marketing: How to optimize the customer experience to benefit from word-of-mouth advertising

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