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A simple test of marketing authenticity

I did this piece for Bazaarvoice (disclosure: I’m a Bazaarvoice advisor) as a part of their series on “Collected perspectives on authenticity.”

It asks marketers to think about authenticity with one question, “Would it look good in a press release?” If so, it’s not authentic. Why? Because real people don’t talk like marketers.

So instead of trying to come up with that one perfect marketing phrase or worse, doing something scammy, why not just have real conversations with real people?

And in this world of social media, you have the opportunity to have tons of these conversations. That’s when the real message that resonates with your customers comes out.

That’s how your marketing becomes authentic.

But it’s more than that. Someone has to protect that authenticity. Someone has to stand up when something isn’t true to your brand — when something’s fake.

You have to ask yourself, “Am I trying to make an ad look like it’s not an ad?”

If the answer is yes, you’re crossing the ethical line.

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