Connecting in the Age of "Fake News"

 Monty Wyne

Connecting with customers in today’s world can be a minefield. As a marketer, how do you reach them through all the noise? How do you effect change given all the cynicism? Finally, how can marketers know whose advice to trust?

Connecting Needs A Purpose

Every marketer knows there’s an art to connecting. There’s also a science, which is driven by research and data that’s commanding more of your budget and your time. However, you can’t fulfill your marketing goals by focusing on one or the other. What’s the alternative? Focus on your company's purpose. What is it that makes you different? Just what is it that your brand and your product or service does to make your customer’s life better? Ultimately, you are serving people and people respond to purpose, whether it’s B2B or B2C.

Be Credible with Customers

What about the Internet? There’s a terrific amount of distraction and an overwhelming overload of information. That said, a consumer has to get to you—wade through all the noise. So, let’s say that consumer finally comes in contact with your brand through search. He or she is looking for concrete, credible information about your company or brand. Here’s your chance to make a meaningful connection. Remember, however, while your brand story may impress and answer some of their questions, the story your customers tell is ever more valuable. That’s where the power of social media comes in. It amplifies both the good and the bad.

In the era of “Fake News,” where online credibility is constantly questioned, your story must be airtight. It also has to be an authentic value proposition. The whole issue of credibility is in flux at this point in time. How do you know what is credible/believable online or in the real world? That’s a question that everyone is trying to answer right now.

Listen and Learn

When it comes to your company, brand, product or service, it might help to look at what’s happening in other categories versus confining your evaluation to your own. This kind of thinking can lead to unexpected insights that can really pay big dividends from a business perspective. Sure, listen to what your competitors are saying, but also listen to those who are outside your category of influence. You’d be surprised at what you can learn and apply to making your marketing efforts more impactful, believable and most importantly, actionable. 

(This article is an excerpt from an article published in “Ad Age,” Mar. 1, 2017,