With the end of the year looming, it’s the perfect time to start reflecting on 2016. With all that has happened in the world this year, the way we have and will market our companies has changed. But how?
The most influential changes from 2016 have been put into words by The Oxford Dictionary who chose ‘post-truth’ as their word of the year;
‘Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’ (Source: Oxford Dictionary)
This year, we’ve seen a dramatic change in the way the public approach trusting businesses and brands. We’re going to look at how this shift has affected the way marketing works, and what changes need to be made in order to master marketing in 2017.
Looking back on this past year, it’s fair to say this is one we’re not going to forget. We’ve seen some dramatic and unexpected events unfold. For example, in June, 52% of the UK voted to leave the EU. Although this result was unexpected, if we take into account the ‘post-truth era’ that appears to be evolving around us, a Brexit result makes sense. It has been said that many of the voters who were ‘for’ Brexit based their decision on emotions, which the Leave campaign capitalized on.
Another event that shook the world was the US presidential election result. Although both candidates were neck-and-neck throughout the entire campaign, most experts and reporters did not predict the final outcome. President Trump’s supporters were persuaded because he appealed to their emotions and beliefs, which no other candidate was able to do as effectively.
Although both of these results came as a surprise, some of us are now looking back at the pattern of human behaviour this year and conceding that these outcomes could have been predicted. That’s because people are flocking to open platforms like social media in their billions, to initiate conversations and share opinions that are fuelled by emotions, rather than all the facts. The anonymity afforded by the internet also makes it much easier for people to share their deepest convictions without the fear of backlash.
So, with this in mind, how should a brand change its marketing in response?
In 2017, marketers will need to deliver their most customised service yet – especially since emotion is influencing the public’s buying habits more than ever. Receiving a personal service is no longer limited to shopping in store and in person – the customer expectation is that this personal service should carry over to their online experience as well. If you’re selling a service, instead of simply sharing the facts about your offering with prospects, talk about what they’ll no longer have to worry, or think about with your help. They’re likely to react positively to your brand if you can demonstrate that you understand them better than a competitor.
What brands need to consider when marketing to the ‘post-truth’ generation, is that consumers are actively seeking opinions. Since everything is now open to commentary, those researching your company or service will usually hunt for reviews first because social proof builds trust. This means social media and review sites can sometimes do more for your business and trust-building efforts organically than anything that’s paid for or fabricated.
Something that we use ourselves here at JTN (which has helped us win previous clients through our own marketing efforts) is talking about past client success. If you’re selling a product, have a client results page on your website or a portfolio with proof of previous results you’ve achieved. This eliminates any doubt of authenticity, as you’re demonstrating your skills and what you’re able to offer prospective clients.
So, if you decide to take inspiration from The Oxford Dictionary, and embrace the post-truth way of marketing, you’ll start to attract a new type of client to your brand. By changing and adapting your marketing strategies in 2017, you’ll be able to widen both your audience and your reach.
If there’s anything you are struggling with, or would like to know more about, send us an email or call us directly on +1 877 465 7740 or +44 20 7099 5535. We’re more than happy to have a chat.