Is the conversation authentic?
A story in today’s Media Post Marketing Daily suggests that many consumers are less than impressed with the level of engagement companies provide. The essence of the article is that consumers want to be heard, not just marketed to, especially with regard to this like product and service development, and social or environmental initiatives. Click here to read the story.
Implications: While the basis of this Media Post story was a survey from Cone, Inc.—a communications agency, of sorts, that apparently sells engagement-related services—the premise is difficult to argue: There is room for improvement in the way many companies communicate with their customers.
In a world where two-way communications are possible (using the web and other feedback tools), it seems reasonable to me that customers are no longer satisfied with one-way messaging.
Another issue surfaces in the MP article: The consumer’s hunger for authenticity. As one example, consider how easy it is for almost any company to make some sort of claim related to their environmentally-friendly products, services, or policies; statements without substance led consumer’s to coin the term “green-washing.” But the need for authenticity reaches far beyond ecological issues. “Making a statement” or explaining what you stand for is no longer enough to satisfy the cause-driven consumer. Consumers don’t just want to see your logo on the t-shirts that are worn during a walk-a-thon. They want to know what you have actually done or what you are doing to help solve a problem.