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The importance of authenticity and being honest with your customers underpins all marketing communication.

31st July 2023

Currently, we are living in a world where technology/AR and AI are becoming ever important, there are of course many potential benefits but also warning signs. This is not about AI. This is about creating brands with true values and then staying authentic and real. Truly connecting with your customers on a human level may not be the luxury all businesses can afford. We are a demanding lot and sometimes our perception of a service or a product may differ from what the product can deliver.

AI is fairly comfortable with simple ‘YES/NO binary sort of questions. Unfortunately, most humans are not that great at punching in the right questions.

AI is not capable of communicating on a human level because there are nuances, subtlety, emotion and connection that only can be communicated by humans.

AI is capable of many things but they are not capable of evoking the joy, that raw emotion that a human can feel. That relationship of a brand might be created over a lifetime……Heinz tomato soup has a taste unlike fresh tomatoes made into a tomato soup for example. Older products or even processed products cultivate a following…they may not need to tick all the boxes of a more natural product.

Increasingly the customer is filtered through AI so that simpler questions of a more routine nature can be pushed into a matrix of answers. This often involves the customers time being wasted as they plod through the checklist of potential answers to a query.

As a marketeer, you have to consider the cost of authenticity to a customer.

Take a website for example, it is much more emotionally stronger to have a real human being working a piece of machinery than a generic stock image of a person who in all likelihood doesn’t work at that company. It’s important to have images that reflect the brand authentically. It helps build greater connectivity between customers/staff and the brand. But in B2B say in the pharma industry it is often accepted that the flavour of the operation is represented in the lab scene portrayed. Only the largest budgets will afford complex set-up of lab scenes or graphic interpretations of complex models of atoms.

Brands are built upon the strength of the people, the products, the service and it’s integral that these are conveyed with accuracy. Especially when we live in a world where it’s hard to know where the truth lies with many examples of the truth being distorted. You must ask yourself the question – does your marketing communication clearly convey everything that it should? What is that ‘honest approach that can be justified’?

AI has an important role to play…but we should not let it come between humans understanding what their customers want. Of course, that might in itself be a smorgasbord of different ‘needs’. Every point of connection with your customer…whether it be energy values or serving suggestions on a pack of cereal through to the ‘customer service’ hotline needs a human to decide what is best for the brand’s needs.

The speed of AI against the understanding of complex questions by human representatives always has to be underpinned by authentic honesty. This linking back to company values is innately human. We cannot think that a chat box robot can take on the values of real intelligence.

The time may come when the approximate ‘correct answer‘ to a more subtle question exceeds the answer correctness of say a phone operator who has a list of yes or no answers on a sheet in front of them.

We should not as marketeers break away from the idealised relationship with one’s consumer, or target audience because that can create as many false perceptions or brand negativity.

Where we come in is that we make sure that the branding and story reflect who you are and what you do. It’s about being positive, focusing on the core strengths of the company and working with you to convey this. We also make sure that you stand out from your competitors. It’s about being truthful about the benefits offered. This is important not just for the company but life in general.

If you would like to hear more, don’t hesitate to contact us.