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Future of Marketing: reveal facts and kill hype

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You can have a world-class advertising campaign that successfully raises consumer awareness, only to find its entire value wiped out in a moment by a news story.

Consumers are increasingly cynical and hard to impress, sophisticated, fickle and wary as well as well-informed, with instant access to online informal reviews and comments about just about any product in the world.

Booking a holiday or a meal out? It is increasingly likely that you will find recent reviews online, within a few seconds of using a search engine.  What is more, the independent reviews may rank higher in the results than official websites or advertising.

Consumers are hypersensitive to exaggerated marketing claims, false promises and downright lies, and are now able to vent their fury or pleasure on public sites, in very powerful ways.  For a start, consumers are believed on the whole, advertising is not.

People have grown tired of hype and spin. That’s why the future of marketing belongs to honest information, accurate data, clear claims based on truth.

Marketing success will be about reminding people, or revealing the jewel at the heart of your organisation, or a product or a service:  the remarkable facts about it which will change how people think and feel, and their attitudes to buying.

There is often a beautiful jewel at the heart of an organisation, but almost entirely hidden beneath a stack of quite trivial and meaningless messages.

But these hidden dimensions are often exactly what are needed to help create high-impact campaigns with high memory retention and huge emotional appeal.

* Patrick Dixon is author of Building a Better Business, and has advised many of the world's largest corporations on a wide range of consumer trends, brand and marketing-related issues. See clients.



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