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Video Time: 34 minutes 54 seconds
Effectively communicating something, anything, requires authenticity. A message without authenticity may be received, but it may not be a good message that gets across. A poorly crafted message can often backfire, bringing a sense of resentment or that the company has some dishonesty it wishes to hide. Matthew Haughey (@mathowie on Twitter), the founder of MetaFilter, one of TIME magazine’s 50 Best Websites, presents on the ability to communicate with customers in an authentic fashion.
The bandwagon of online communication is something that a plethora of companies have jumped on. However, not all companies have managed this well. A stellar example of this failure is the infamous “All I want for Christmas is a PSP” viral campaign that was immediately regarded as an insulting, stereotyping campaign that thoroughly alienated its market and was counter-productive. On the other hand, the Will it Blend? campaign, a clear marketing ploy, enjoys considerable success.
Authenticity, as Haughey puts it, is something that is remarkably simple, yet so often left by the wayside. It consists of the traditional values that people live by, such as honesty and ethical behavior. However, many of these elements seem to be forgotten or blown to the wayside in favor of strategies that offer a quick gain in return for long-term sustainability. The simple element of remembering that you are still working with other people and that the change of medium, from magazines, radio or television to Internet makes no difference to the fundamentals will resolve many of the conflicts that may arise.
Whether the platform consists of blogs, Facebook fan pages, newsletters or an attempt at a viral campaign, all companies want the same things: increased visibility, demonstrated benefits and, ultimately, increased sales. The secret is in engaging them in a fashion that is genuine. The short cuts, or get-rich-quick schemes may offer a good start, but that’s it. There is no longevity or any secret formula to achieving success. In the end, communicating online is the same as communicating anywhere else.
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