Marketers have often struggled with the fact that their messages are not always welcome. Many people today understandably feel overwhelmed with marketing communications, and that can easily breed some hostility. As a result, marketers have for many years sought ways of softening up such kinds of resistance and even putting positive feelings in their place. As noted by Jim Tsokanos on Twitter recently, one particular strategy has assumed a position of particular prominence in recent times.
What that boils down to is the idea of transparency. People have many different reasons to feel as though marketing cannot be accepted comfortably and without question. Above all else, though, what many people single out as a source of frustration and distrust is the idea that every marketing effort comes with an ulterior motive. Even when marketers strive to be relatively upfront with their goals, those who receive their messages often feel that they are being manipulated in underhanded ways.
Putting transparency first means undermining such inclinations right from the start. Instead of trying to pretend that a given marketing initiative is one thing while actually pursuing a goal of a different kind, marketers who commit to this approach take a step back and reassess. Instead of feeling as though the only route to victory will be through putting one over on an audience, they recalibrate and accept that being transparent will resonate better with the recipients of their messaging.
That, of course, can acquire quite a bit of adjustment, especially for those marketers who have become comfortable with a less straightforward approach to the discipline. While some pursue “native advertising” and other modern tactics of fairly underhanded kinds, others are learning the value of doing more or less the opposite.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether this relatively novel take on the field will become a permanent fixture or amounts more to a temporary correction of sorts. What is almost certain, though, is that marketers will be forced to confront more in the way of resistance with every passing year. If transparency proves to be an effective way of breaking down such barriers as and when they arise, then successful marketers will adopt it.