I recently attended an event where CMOs of some of the top companies discussed future trends in their industries. Amazon Prime’s CMO described how they approach programming and the excitement behind The Lord of The Rings Prequel, “The Rings of Power”. Denny’s CMO reinforced that even in challenging times they have stayed committed to regaining their position as ‘America’s Diner’. And VISA’s CMO described how we are entering the era of ‘Quantum Marketing’ where, to stay viable, brands must differentiate through creativity that is relevant to human beings. However, throughout the event there was one word that repeatedly kept resurfacing: authenticity.
Today, authenticity sits at the heart of a meaningful personal experience and companies must find ways to leverage online strategies to foster relationships, and amplify the experience. With over 6B mobile users and 5B active social media users, mobile is arguably the most personal of any channel because it never leaves our side. The personal experience has evolved, consistent with the speed of technology, and companies that understand experiential marketing are connecting with their customers online now more than ever.
It is this personal experience that’s driving people in droves to see Top Gun Maverick, who last week surpassed $900 Million in box office sales globally. Using all-out marketing domination tactics, studios aimed at deeply rooted emotions via Tik Tok ads, a Cannes Premiere, a class on fighter jet flying with James Corden, and lots of Tom Cruise.
The Cost of being Inauthentic
How and where we consume content (video programs, books, moments) continue to push brands to be more personal, and place stronger focus on authenticity. I reached out to Rory Sutherland, TED Talk keynote speaker, and Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK, and asked how do people and brands should be leveraging authenticity in a callous world of misinformation? This is what he had to say:
“Authenticity is at risk in a world of narrow financial calculation, especially in publicly held companies – in particular it has been undermined at every turn by the shareholder value movement. I know this sounds like a strange connection to make, but a company is authentic to the extent that it sincerely engages in certain costly practices which are not in its own immediate self interest. This is a form of costly signaling, in a way. A principle is only a principle when it affects your wallet! It is difficult to take seriously the worthy pronouncements of businesses which actively minimize their exposure to tax, or shift employment offshore.”
It is less costly to be authentic always, than only when it’s convenient.
XMarketing is a framework that leverages authenticity, to deliver a personal experience, that evokes positive emotion, and creates stronger relationships online. Authenticity sits at the heart of this framework because we are always in the position to create a human connection with our clients and followers who know, like, and trust us.
This framework revolves around delivering a personal experience using these 3 core components:
- The Narrative – How do you attract people into your narrative, how clear is your message, and where is the value to the user?
- The Engagement – How to engage and connect deeply by personalizing your content, and being authentic?
- The Audience – How to leverage Artificial Intelligence and social media to build and target the right audiences?
How To Implement XMarketing
If you want the quick 6-pack this might not be for you, but it you want to play the long-game XMarketing will provide you with a new way of looking at digital marketing. The first thing you must do is to mark a starting point from where you can start measuring any transformation. The first step in the XMarketing framework is therefore a full SEO audit of your website and online channels.
A website is the heart of your message because it tells your story, the why, what, and how your offering is of value to your audience. An audit creates a baseline to measure against increased organic (free) traffic, and online conversions. It highlights keywords to focus on, lists your top competitors’ websites, and points out immediate changes for biggest impact.
I strongly recommend auditing your website at least once a year, because our message is constantly improving. One tool we like to use is called SEMRush to do the audits, the other tool is the years of experience under our belt.
Having a deeper understanding of how and why traffic is coming in, you can then start customizing your narrative to find, attract, and retain more customers online.
About the Author
Daveeed Wagner is a Fractional CMO, XMarketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker and Founder of 1marketingidea. His presentations focus on how to leverage the XMarketing Framework to amplify the online experience and build deeper and stronger relationships with your customers. This results in lower lead acquisition costs and long-term scalability.