Executives in some businesses have, in the past, been ‘economical with the truth’ – to say the least. Years ago the holiday industry in the UK was famous for publishing details of hotels that didn’t actually exist. They would then take the booking, transport the holidaymaker to the destination and then say ‘sorry, you’ll have to go to another hotel.’ This lie was exposed and new rules were set in place for the industry.
Yet, we still see examples of business executives interpreting the ‘truth’ in different ways to their customers. Software that doesn’t do what the adverts claim, flights to airports that are not actually near the supposed destination and ‘low fat’ are all examples where marketers have tried to pull the wool over our eyes.
Well, according to Trendwatching, businesses need to watch out. Thanks to social networking sites, review sites and customer feedback pages, people are beginning to share their experiences of products and services, telling the ‘truth’ that perhaps eager marketers might not want us to know.
Thanks to the Internet, the future of business is going to have to be more transparent. Those companies who try to hide things from us are likely to suffer significantly, if not disappear altogether.
If you have an online business this all means that you simply have to be completely honest and transparent. No more ‘marketing speak’, no more ‘puffery’, no more hiding behind anonymity. Instead you are going to have to be upfront, open and honest – even if that means a particular product has fewer sales. So to overcome that, online entrepreneurs are going to need even more market research at the outset, so that they can be mroe frank when they actually launch their product or service.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+