Marketing’s Most Powerful Tool

moment of truth typed by typewriter

We are rewarded when our work performs, but we cannot compromise in the area of truth.

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“We are men of action. Lies do not become us.” – Wesley, The Princess Bride

Most of us were taught at a young age that truth-telling is not only important – it is non-negotiable. After all, how can you build meaningful, trusting relationships without truth.

Simple and good, right? Not so fast. Telling the truth is often inconvenient. And sometimes the truth is downright painful. Yet, in spite of the ethical, moral, and personal dilemmas that the truth can present, we are told that the truth will set us free.

Truth in Advertising

For those of us who make a living in marketing, our assertions of truth are broadcast for all to see. Our words and messages are public conversations in the ads, websites, emails, brochures, and blogs that we create. While we like to judge the quality of our work based on the strategy, the idea, and the artful executions, our first measurement should be a test of truth.

Like a lie in our personal life, marketing that isn’t firmly rooted in truth eventually betrays us. People who purchase based on false promises or exaggerated claims become frustrated. Expectations are missed. Bad-mouthing takes root. Trust is broken. Rebuilding your brand from broken trust can be like climbing Everest – not for the faint of heart.

Great marketing, like any human interaction, is built on truth. Granted, there are many other important ingredients in our craft: creativity, insight, experience, collaboration, tenacity, risk, etc. But if the final product doesn’t Ring True, we need to start over.

Our Spin-Free Obligation

We are rewarded when our work performs, but we cannot compromise in the area of truth. It is a disservice to everyone – client, agency, customer, and the profession of marketing. Eliminate the hyperbole and spin in your Creative Brief and infuse it with the sweet and simple power of truth. Truth is not an anchor that will bring our work down; it is a foundation on which to build something great and lasting.

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