Is there such a thing as Integrity in Marketing?
The short answer to this question is, Absolutely! Marketing well defined is simply the process of sharing your product or service with a specific target audience. And yet we all know and have experienced what it feels like when someone is pushing something onto us or coming on strong with the hard sell. Usually we tune out and dismiss what is on offer, at best, we smile politely and say we are not interested, at worst, we leave the store with a bad taste in our mouth and no intention to return. When it comes to the world of digital, the situation is no different.
In the world of business and digital marketing, everyone is competing online for growth and sales, and the digital space, although vast, is just like any other, it serves well big business but for smaller businesses, it can be a hard slog, especially when working with smaller resources (and a smaller budget). Entrepreneur’s and business owners can often succumb to the pressure to succeed, or to stay afloat, which can have a negative impact on the way we interact in our business dealings, and whilst it is great to be ambitious in business, and in life, it’s not so great if we lose ourselves in the process.
With that said, here are some key pointers for individuals and businesses looking to maintain integrity in their online interactions.
Identify what success means to you. If it’s solely a monetary figure, you’re at a disadvantage from the start. Making it about profit first lacks the true integrity that is needed in business. Look to the bigger picture and always make it about people and connection first. Don’t worry if you’re a revolutionary in this, it has to start with someone. Why not you?
Bring more realness to your social interactions. This may sound simple, but the truth is many businesses miss the personal element when it comes to marketing their product or service. You can still maintain a professional manner online, with a warmth and connection to your customers and clients. If needed, enlist the support of a connected marketing consultant who can help you with this. (Mind the personal plug here).
Be honest. Make sure there is integrity in your dealings always, and never stray from this being a foundational point of representing your business or product. If there is a fault at your end, be humble about it. Doing this builds trust with those you are dealing with, which will lead to 'word of mouth' growth for your business – the best kind. It will also mean a better night sleep for yourself.
Be Transparent. Don’t hide anything about yourself or your product. People can feel everything anyway even if they don’t admit it, so be open and allow people to know the whole of it. If you have something to hide, ask yourself why and be willing to work on that. It will support your business to no end in the long run.
Work on Detachment. The less invested we are in things going a certain way, the more likely we are to hold onto our integrity when it comes to our personal and business dealings. Learn to observe what is going on, to read situations without reacting, and respond in the way you would like someone to respond to you.
These 5 elements, worked on without perfection offer a richness that surpasses any monetary figure, which is not to say that financial wealth cannot be included in that package, only that it becomes not the focus, but simply a bonus in the end, and a foundation for which you can bring more to your customers and clients.
Watch a short video on Simplifying Social Media for Business.