Embrace Digital Disruption!
Perceived credibility of marketers is a long-standing challenge for those who strive to be a true professional and achieve great things in their career. ‘Challenge’ is a nice way to put it – in reality, this perceived credibility issue is like a chronic disease that many of us have to fight for years. It gives you a hit every now and then when you feel things just got a little better.
Research on public respect for professions has never favoured marketers. As early as 1999, findings released from the Public Relations Society of America revealed that some professions marketers hold, such as PR specialists, was ranked at the bottom along with entertainers and political party leaders. More recently in 2014, GALLUP found that only 10% of the audiences would rate the honesty and ethical standards of advertising practitioners as high, compared to 65% for medical doctors and 21% for bankers.
Boosting perceived credibility takes effort. Not only do you have the deep-rooted public opinion to combat, every effort you make is potentially getting offset by some unsophisticated ads or spokesperson out there that continues to tarnish marketers’ reputations. Many marketers go down the road of making themselves likable by clients/customers, which is not a bad strategy to achieve the agenda, but it’s not going to bring glory to our profession.
With the advancement of digital media and data-driven marketing approach, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Research, testing and reporting are made easier, which has enabled us to get the science behind our actions more adequately than ever. The roadblock on our way to gain more trust and respect from the public is now ourselves, as we have not been historically engineered to follow this approach to the extent that will help us break through the credibility ceiling any time soon.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs speaks to the majority of human beings – desires for esteem and self-fulfilment urge us to get more out of our career than just salary and some reasonably happy times. For myself this desire has been pushing me to strive to become a subject matter expert and thought leader in my profession. Every time I smell a trace of doubt over my professional output, whether it’s from myself, a colleague or a customer, I get stimulated and ready to preach and convert.
To improve the widely perceived credibility of marketers by the public, it requires a collective effort from the majority of us. If you are also passionate about elevating the profile of our industry and making our profession more respected, consider becoming a ‘change champion’ and start practicing these tips below today.
- Cut back on opinions and talk more factually
Always do a quick search on the facts and other supporting evidence before giving your professional advice. If you don’t know the answer, be honest about it. Respond with expressions such as –
- We’ve done multiple tests and the outcome proves that..
- Our research shows that…
- It’s commonly practiced this way, due to the fact that…
- This opportunity could achieve… more cost-effectively than what we currently do with…
- Without…, the chance of making it work is none.
- I don’t have the answer for now, but I’ll investigate and get back to you.
- Resist small but tempting ideas
On a daily basis we come across small ideas that have some creativity and may also save or earn us a bit more money. They are tempting but they can really drain your resources. More importantly, they define the perception of you and your profession at the workplace quicker than you think. Consequently we are seen as cost centres and the less visionary division of the business.
I’m not suggesting that you ditch the small tempting ideas once and for all. They can be helpful in creating quick wins for you and keep you under the spotlight, which in turn buy time for you to cook up your long term wins.
- Don’t invest in an initiative before you know how to measure it
Marketers are generally creative people or people who love creativity. We jump at brilliant ideas and that’s the joy this career brings to us. When an interesting initiative is proposed, I’ve learned to give myself a moment to think through the evaluation mechanism before responding ‘sounds great, let’s do it’, unless the associated cost is low or the risk of not implementing it is high.
It’s not uncommon for marketers to design the measuring vehicle after a campaign is already in place. Evaluation implemented at this stage is not ideal but can still provide indications on whether or not to continue with the campaign. With digital marketing this is even less of a concern as data is often already there, waiting to be manipulated and benchmarked.
Get the science behind marketing and stick to this practice religiously. It is most likely to be the cure for our long lasting chronic disease that has followed us since the day we put our foot in the door of marketing. Prepare to become a marketing technologist and data master in your business. The era of marketing becoming a giant in all professions has finally been made possible by digital technology and our time has just started.
For many small business owners around Australia, we understand you are the marketer of your business, so with the above applying to you as well, are you confident in your ability to be a ‘change champion’ with your data management? SponsoredLinX is here to help, so call us on 1300 859 600 today.