On the Importance of Transparency

When an expert in business intelligence talks about the future of marketing, there’s little doubt he will talk about just that – business intelligence, or endless streams of data. However, the way Daniel Aunvig from SAS Australia, introduces his thoughts in the Australian Marketing Magazine, resonates with us, too:

The boundaries between the company and its marketplace are increasingly blurred. We are now part of a reality in which customers play a much more integrated and active part in the processes of research and development, marketing and customer service. Little about a company and its offerings will ever again be invisible to the marketplace.

He then stresses that marketing departments have to transform into “facilitating units that create a foundation for dialogue with customers.” This idea is apparently new to many but not to us at Avantgarde. For a long time we have been telling our clients to think beyond a specific event, promotion opportunity or guerilla marketing campaign. To create a customer journey that establishes the contact with a brand and then continues an open dialogue long after your direct contact has ended is something that indeed makes marketing departments more than just creators of innovative ideas: CRM and a transparent way of processing your customer information play a vital role in establishing long-lasting relationships with your consumers and creating many loyal fans of your brand.

Interestingly, just the other day the Guardian published an article on the need for transparency and authenticity in businesses, written by Ford global digital communications expert Scott Monty:

As we know, transparency the quality of making something easily accessible. But once you’re transparent, are you authentic? Authenticity is the quality of being genuine, and ultimately of being trusted. Transparency gets your brand attention; authenticity allows your message to be heard and believed.

Wait a minute! A call for building trust with your audience? We’ve mentioned the importance (and ephemerality) of trust before. Let’s recapitulate: In order to build and maintain trust, remember and work on the three decisive factors:

  • be as transparent as you can
  • show integrity in all your moves
  • engage your customers in every possible way

…and trust will follow.

Photo: dicemanic/Flickr CC