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Creating authenticity in marketing

Today's consumer, more aware and more connected that ever before, is requiring brands to 'do good' not just be good - the goodvertising revolution is growing.
Winning the continued loyalty of demanding customers is presenting a challenge for businesses and marketers are constantly brainstorming creative narratives in the hope of engulfing a sceptical audience.

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There has been a significant shift in consumer spending and social awareness behaviour since the recession hit in 2008, making a marketer's job more difficult. Gone are the days where brands could say one thing and do another. Consumers are now looking to invest in products and services that demonstrate authenticity in the way that they conduct their business.

This change in consumer behaviour is even more evident with the evolution of technology. What once was a one-way message dump by businesses has now been transformed into a two-way conversation where previously muzzled consumers are leading the dialogue. This dramatic shift in vocal power is made even more prominent by social media platforms, where businesses are increasingly being held accountable.

What does this mean for businesses trying to stand out in an oversaturated market?

Amplifying good practice

"Promoting a product or service is vital to the success of a business. Using creative marketing strategies, we simply amplify the good that businesses already do to entice more customers to engage with their brands. It's all about goodvertising - showing consumers that a business has authenticity by highlighting the right things that they do," says Michael Baretta, founder of South Africa's first and only niche below-the-line marketing agency, [dot]GOOD that specialises in marketing strategies that simultaneously drive sales, build brand reputation and do good.

Cannes rewards doing good

The growing number of Cannes Lions that are awarded to campaigns that display for-good messaging each year demonstrates the trend towards this type of communication. The Coca-Cola 'A Rainbow for the Nation', which won gold this year, is a good local example.

"Consumers want to invest in more than just a brand; they want to feel like they are doing good by supporting brands that have soul. Large corporates are already adapting to this trend by merging their corporate social investment and marketing departments to reach organisational objectives. It's no longer enough for businesses to do well, they need to do good too if they want to thrive in this economic winter.

"Businesses demonstrating authentic investment in their community and their environment helps to build trust and ultimately loyalty with its consumers. It also harvests an emotional connection between the two as there is a 'feel good' factor for consumers when they choose the businesses products or services.

"Our vision is to change the business landscape by creating a community of organisations that want to do good while doing well. While profits are a business' lifeblood, we believe a greater purpose gives it soul. Being part of that process makes us proud," concludes Baretta.

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