Digital communication has changed

I know from running my own business and talking to clients across sectors that communication has changed. The pandemic caused priorities for all of us to shift and many of us re-evaluated the way we live and the way we interact with the world around us. Many of us are feeling the need for more open and honest communication – in our own lives, from the brands we buy from and companies we work with.

Honesty matters

Over the last week we have seen the power of honest and straightforward communication. Mick Lynch, the secretary-general of the RMT (the transport union whose Railway workers have been striking over the last week), has gone viral for his takedowns of MP’s and journalists questioning him on the strikes. The key to his stand-out interviews? Whilst many might be digging around for what his master strategy is, it is as simple as one thing – Sincerity. As MP’s repeat government attack lines or journalist ask leading questions to try and catch him out, Lynch has spoken plainly about the facts, called out lies and been – well – honest! Whilst the railways strikes have been a controversial issue, the internet has agreed on one thing – they love this new and different brand of communication. Really, we are all crying out for some authenticity!

Whilst brands have been used to putting on the heavy sell, now is the time for brands to be a bit more honest about what they are and what they do, and customers will thank them for it. Brands must be responsive to what is going on around them rather than focusing on the corporate line. Marketing strategies must be bold, open and honest in this changing world.

8 Ways can brands be more authentic in their marketing

  • Think about what your customers’ needs are and how you can best support them.
  • Stay relevant, in an authentic way. Don’t just jump on the band wagon – listen to your customers and learn what they want to see from your brand.
  • Share real stories and experiences that will both inform and excite your customers.
  • Personalise your content – remember that not all customers are the same and they all have different needs. Don’t fall into the ‘one size fits all’ trap.
  • Get closer to your customers. Interact with them more on an authentic level, such as through social media. The more you are able to create conversations and learn what customers want, the more you will know how to add value to their day to day lives. Through the right content and by finding the right channels for your customers, you can create more conversation and build authentic connections.
  • Diversity and equality is not simply an option in 2022. Diversity is a fact. Differences make each person unique. Inclusion is a behaviour. We need to go beyond diversity alone to become consciously inclusive—where curiosity about differences is encouraged and inclusion is a mutual responsibility.
  • Whilst the world isn’t black and white, it’s important for brands to take a stand. Companies can’t hide away from the divisive world we live in. Take a look at the world as it is right now and show your customers want you stand for. Adapt to the world around you and keep learning.
  • Go beyond corporate speak. Brands need to share what makes each product or service unique. Make yourself relevant to different types of customers, your employees and suppliers.

Too much marketing takes months of committee meetings to produce. By the time the content is out there, is gone through so many iterations it’s no longer authentic, and it’s taken so long is no longer relevant!  Customers and employees want to see what is happening today reflected on your social and website they want to hear about latest innovations, trends, customers stories. They want honest opinions from the bosses, and for brands to lead the way. Stop looking for the perfect campaign than appeals to everyone. It does not exist! Instead, get out there with straight forward and authentic communication – talk about the little things, things that are relevant and pertinent, talk to individuals, and be diverse.

It’s time to take a new perspective. The days of perfectly manicured marketing is history… today is about being real, honest and responsive in your communication.