Being transparent in your marketing campaign will bring you closer to your customers. It will take down the wall separating the two worlds and will allow your customers to get to know you and your company better.
Transparency is not only about letting your customers get to know you better, it’s also about not hiding any information from them that may help them determine whether or not they want to do business with you.
A report by Forrester stated that the three qualities that every successful B2B supplier possesses are clear full pricing, evident inventory, and information on the company processes, which are all directly related to transparency.
Transparency in every aspect of your business is important because it will gain the trust of your customers, which will strengthen the relationship you build with them. Here are a few ways to creating a transparent marketing strategy for success.
Start With Your Website Content
Great content on your website will give readers a glimpse of who you are, what your company does, how you produce your products, etc. Your website content should give readers the feeling that they know you, which will ultimately build their trust and will help build a long-lasting relationship.
Post Honest Customer Testimonials
Consumers like hearing honest testimonials from real consumers. According to research by TechValidate, 94 percent of b2b marketing and sales professionals found that honest customer reviews as very effective. Letting your audience see the good and bad customer testimonials can make a world of difference in the reputation you have built for yourself. Sure, while some people may not be happy with what some customers had to say, being forthcoming with the positive and negative experiences your customers have experienced will prove that you have nothing to hide.
Related Article: Reputation Management 101: How to Ensure People Love Your Business
Don’t Hide From Customer Complaints
This tip falls in line with the previous one about customer testimonials, but I want to stress the importance of being real with your customers and not shying away from any negative comments that may be made. Instead, think of what you can do to resolve the issue. Was someone unhappy with the customer service they received? Do they feel they paid more than what a competitor was charging? Were they upset over the time it took to receive the product you shipped? Think about these different scenarios and hold a meeting with your staff to determine how you would handle and fix the problem that would make both you and the customer happy. Since these customers are already losing patience with your company, knowing how you would resolve the issue before it arises will ensure you provide a solution much quicker than if you weren’t prepared.
Let Customers In To Your Personal Life
Letting customers know you at a personal level will show them that they will be working with a real person instead of just a company. Give them a little insight into who you are by posting a bio on your website or including stories from your childhood into blog posts. Of course, there should still be a level of professionalism, so refrain from oversharing, but do share tidbits from your past that pertain to your business.
Post Pictures of You and Your Team
There are a number of reasons why posting yours and your staff’s pictures would give you credibility. First, especially if your business is only done online, putting a face with the company will assure your customers that they are doing business with a real team instead of just a computer. Second, when they speak to you on the phone, they will know who they are talking to. And third, including photos of your office and anything else associated with your company will give your customers an idea of where their products are being ordered from. This is an important step in creating a transparent marketing campaign.
Related Article: Like PB&J: Customer Service as a Marketing Strategy
Admit to Your Mistakes
Mistakes happen. Sometimes they aren’t avoidable and sometimes they are. For whatever the reason, owning up to the mistakes that you, your staff, or your company has made is a must to gain the trust of your clientele. Many times, employees can get overly defensive when they are confronted about an error that was made by them. Instead of coming up with excuses for why you did what you did, apologize for the mistake and think of how you can fix it. Not only is this a rule that should be followed in our everyday lives, it also is an excellent business practice that your customers will appreciate.
Backup What You Have to Say with Facts
It’s easy for us to say that we are the best in your industry or have the most innovative products, but until you have the facts to back it up, it’s all just talk. Marketing research, focus groups, and surveys are a few ways you can find out what your consumer has to say about your products compared to that of your competitors. Try to include as many statistics as possible in your marketing campaign to let everyone know why they should do business with you.
Transparency isn’t always easy for some businesses, especially since it will expose every aspect of your company, both the good and the bad. As difficult as it may be, your customers will be able to trust a company much more that is forthcoming and candid about their company and its processes.