Recent news around CVS no longer heavily altering images on beauty products is the latest announcement that shows corporations are starting to pay attention to the changing consumer and their yearning for authenticity.
The focus has been shifting more and more towards how to connect in meaningful ways with the consumer (and really mean it), in hopes that they generate an army of ambassadors and not just high sales for the quarter.
Companies can no longer hide behind the TV screen and magazines spewing propaganda to drive sales. Consumers are educated and increasing their buyer IQ every day. Consumer's values and beliefs are one of the hardest things to tap in to, but it is growing to be one of the most important things consumers look for in a company or brand. They [consumers] want to know, "How do they align with my value system?" This mentality is becoming deeply rooted in all buying decisions where it may have only been a consideration for large, long term purchases in the past.
Before you commit to automating your marketing and curating a perfected corporate image, ask yourself these questions to help avoid appearing inauthentic and disconnecting from your audience:
1. Is a marketing automation going to be customer facing or strictly internal?
2. Are we helping get the consumer what they expect by removing a barrier or are we removing an internal barrier and serving a generic filter to prospects?
3. Are we giving access for the consumer to connect with us personally?
4. Will we be promoting true to life brand experience or promoting an accepted stereotype?