Written On: February 16, 2017
Category: Marketing Strategy
The Vanderhaven Group, a content creation powerhouse, shared tips and tricks on authentic marketing. According to investor-relations specialist Laura Rittenhouse and our own Director of Marketing and Strategy Morgan Lasher, the answer is yes. We are all craving real, authentic messages, and we reward brands that give us that authenticity:
You’ve heard it before.
“At Acme Inc., quality is number one. We specialize in service before and after the sale. That’s why no one is more important to us than you, our customer. There has never been a better time to buy. Act now and save even more.”
In fact, you hear it all the time.
It's commercialized language with jargon-filled, ambiguous phrases lacking a single ounce of fact or specifics.
Investor-relations specialist Laura Rittenhouse first coined a term for these "fact-deficient obfuscating generalities" or F.O.G. statements. According to her research with publicly traded companies, businesses that avoid FOG in favor of transparent communication in their corporate language “greatly outperform companies who twist the English language” with clichés, jargon, and obfuscation.
But the problem of FOG isn’t limited to Wall Street.
FOG is Everywhere.
It’s infiltrating our culture. Listen to the radio for 60 seconds. Drive down a highway with billboards. Watch a 30-minute TV program without a fast-forward function.
We’re begging for platforms like DVR to help us avoid traditional commercial messages. Why?
Because, on the whole, traditional marketing message are “foggy” and meaningless.
Our society now wants to see the man behind the curtain. We want real stuff.
We want soul.
We’re driven to platforms (think the boom of social media, novice photography, and reality TV) that engage us with other people and attempt to reveal the authentic world.
And, in the end, we’re driven to brands with authentic souls that treat us like we’re smart ladies and gentlemen—worthy of the truth.
Replace FOG with Candor.
Our marketing system—and we’d argue all marketing strategies in general—should work to identify “foggy” statements and replace them with candor.
We define candor like Rittenhouse does. Real candor is when accuracy meets authenticity.
Your business's ability to be accurate and authentic—while marketing your products and services—reveals to your potential clients an underlying culture of trustworthiness.
And trustworthiness is the one word almost every consumer is craving for when choosing a locally owned business.