By now, we’re all familiar with the most recent Pepsi commercial, featuring Kendall Jenner, and the epic failure that it turned out to be. Pepsi has been accused of being tone-deaf, insensitive, out of touch, and offensive.
But if you’re focused on all the ways they got it wrong, you’re missing the point. They made one mistake, and only one mistake: they were not authentic.
In a day and age when authenticity in marketing is now a demand and no longer just a buzzword, one of the largest companies in the world thought they were immune. Obviously, they are not.
What you should be doing, right now more than ever, is looking inward at your own campaigns and asking yourself if you’re guilty of being inauthentic too. Chances are, there is at least one area where you could improve your authenticity.
For many businesses, this area is in their digital marketing. Digital marketing is instantaneous, fluid, and can lead to massive success or unforgettable failure.
Authenticity in digital marketing matters more than ever, and brands need to find and embrace a voice that is unapologetic in its authenticity. With so much data available to marketers today, a brand should no longer be trying to reach everyone; they should be trying to reach the people who care about their brand, products, and services.
Here are a few areas that you can put on official review so that you don’t wind up making tone-deaf marketing decisions that embarrass your company and tarnish your brand.
Is your website design modern and current, while still reflecting your brand?
Jumping on design trends just to keep up with the Joneses is bad for your brand. It pays to have a design that is easy to navigate and that meets continuously changing standards from Google, but your website is also one of the first impression you’ll make on your audience.
Work with a design team that is going to ask “how” and “why” before they start pitching you a website design. Only then can you align your business goals with your need to be authentic in the digital age.
Do your blogs talk about topics relevant to your audience, and are they written by real people?
Today’s savvy Internet users can spot a fake blog in an instant. Blogs used to be a marketing tool that allowed websites to bank on keywords. Just hire a cheap writer, give them a list of keywords, and have them put together something that kind of makes sense.
With that recipe, you’d be able to increase your traffic and site relevance. Not anymore. Today, you need to work with digital experts that are going to help you get results based on your own data. Learn what you should be talking about, and commit to having your actual employees talk about those things.
Social media that engages in conversations instead of trying to control them.
This is a big one. It’s easy to create social media pages and schedule a bunch of transparently self-promotional posts. However, this is a misuse of social as a marketing tool. Instead, your social media should be 85% conversational and 15% promotional.