When “Keeping It Real” Goes Right: Integral Marketing

Authenticity can go a long way with regards to marketing and communication efforts. A business should create imaging and messaging that reflects transparency, significance and uniqueness in order to garner and keep the attention of its targeted audience.  In fact, when executed correctly, it could result in business trustworthiness, more audience engagement and increased revenue opportunities. When businesses create a distinctive and transparent presence in the marketplace, it encourages people to be more engaged and motivated to purchase products or services, and/or to share their experiences within their networks, becoming brand ambassadors for your company.

Does your business represent and deliver a true tell-it-like-it-is approach when communicating with your target audience?

If the answer is yes, then it is probably participating in what I like to describe as authentic marketing communication. This method of promotion requires the use of genuine marketing and communication tactics that create imaging and messaging that is complimentary to the organization’s core mission and values.

Because some aspects of traditional marketing can be synthetic and artificial, it is best to employ methods that embody more sincere engagement that help to build relationships and promote the organization’s growth. Here are a few tips on how businesses can become more authentic when communicating with their desired audiences.

Be Honest

People are very savvy: they know what they want, how to get it, and where to find it. They are not looking to be oversold, and, more importantly, they are appreciative of blunt honesty over a shiny “white lie” any day. Businesses should not engage in illusive and misleading marketing and communication tactics that massage the truth or that do not properly represent their mission or core values. Instead of creating promotions just for the sake of the sale, whether that’s event, product or service companies should be more transparent. This can be done by developing genuine connections with their audiences and distributing candid and open messages that promote the accuracy of facts to support and encourage their integrity.

Be Meaningful

It is always better when the intended meaning is conveyed properly. To achieve this, every communication effort must be consistent and direct. Promotions should be created to reflect expressive images and messaging that are significant to what the business stands for, and more importantly, to what it wants to become. If the organization wants to convey funny and quirky, it should promote that; if the organization is serious and conscious, it should go with that.  However, its communications should always remain consistent with a significant meaning behind the effort.

Be Unique

Businesses need to create a distinctive presence that will encourage their audiences to be engaged and motivated to share their experiences in their networks. To execute this, companies must start by not following the template on how to market in their industry.

Instead, they should try something different. This can be done by not going for the obvious, but rather by utilizing creative messaging and imaging (i.e., a play on words, pop-culture reference, or attention-getting images) that allow them to get “out of the box” and to challenge the ordinary. Coloring in the lines is safe, but coloring outside the lines can attract new opportunities.

The principles behind “keeping it real” promote honesty and integrity. After all, it is pivotal for businesses to remain authentic in their promotion efforts in order to facilitate interest and engagement. Companies should utilize marketing and communication tactics that are direct and complementary to their core mission and values in order to stimulate growth.

Remember “keeping it real” wins every time.



Sherron Washington is a CEO, author, marketing & communication expert, and professor. For more than a decade, she has imparted her wisdom and expertise in marketing, communications, branding, and design. As CEO of the P3 Solution, a marketing and communication (marcomm) firm, that creates innovative marketing and communication solutions for non-profit organizations, associations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. She is also a business and communication professor at two local universities and is the author of  Market Simple: The Blueprint I Wish I Had Before I Started A Business and The Oops Moment: Eliminating, Marketing Mistakes, Mishaps and Missteps.

Follow her on LinkedIN, Facebook and Instagram @ceop3