Only a few years ago we rode horses to the store. Then came trains, planes and automobiles. After a while, mail order became the rage as retailers considered it stealing its customers.
Then came the Internet, email, the smart phone and the cloud. Customer control became the norm and information moved literally at the speed of light.
Social media allowed customers to share information about products they were considering buying with their peers. Peers, after all, were not the mouthpieces for the company, but offered totally frank opinions and truth about their real experiences with the product.
In other words, the opportunity to uncover the truth about any product was no longer under the complete control of the advertiser. Companies, after all, would tell you what you wanted to hear so long as they made the sale.
So it seems clear "relevant" information has now taken a back seat to "genuine“ information.
The Dudley Moore Crazy People comedy about the impact and appeal of truthful advertising has come to roost. In some ways, this 20-year-old film offers a vision of the future.
Genuineness requires the truth even if it exposes product or company weaknesses.
Could it be that truth requires a high degree of genuineness about both the good and the bad? In the end, the truth will come out anyway.
Customers know that most companies want to create great products. They also appreciate companies who listen and show a willingness to address their product problems head on.
The opportunity for genuineness offered by the Internet has now grown to full bloom with the advent of social media.
Unable to fight the trend, companies must now bend to the will of the customer by giving away much of the control of the message over to its own customers and prospects.
True genuineness builds customers' confidence that the company's quality products can withstand the genuineness required by the new marketing environment.