Is Corporate Transparency the Newest form of Advertising?
When people think of corporate deals they may imagine a low lit room where executives collude on shady agreements. They picture smoke filled bars where Enron lookalikes plan out the next great commercial scandal. We don’t envision hard working employees building a company from scratch. We can’t imagine a manager congratulating an employee on a great week of sales because we just don’t see it. The undertone people are feeling is general distrust of corporate companies. At the same time, people are pulling away from commercial advertisements. Today we have options like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and DVR that allow us completely cut out television advertisement. The status quo of the advertising industry is going to have to make real changes if they want to last. However, people are finding out about new companies all the time. Instead of switching brands because of a commercial, people are finding out about new companies through the word of mouth of friends on social media.
The term corporate transparency used to have something to do with balance sheets come tax season, but today people are looking for so much more. We want to know what your company stands for, who you’re dealing with, and what your company’s cultures like. People want a mission statement that they can brag about. Most companies today have social media pages such as Facebook or Twitter but simply having an account is not enough. Instead, companies need to constantly broadcast new information about their company. According to Blake Mycoskie, author of Start Something That Matters and CEO of Toms Shoes, “People are no longer all listening to the same few radio or TV stations…they’re flowing their own carefully curated Twitter Feeds” (Start Something That Matters, page 26). If someone is going to follow your company on Twitter, they’re not going to tolerate the same kind of advertisements they were trying to avoid in the first place.
So the question becomes, how can you use corporate transparency as a means of advertisement? The first step should be to develop your company’s mission statement. If a sporting goods company said that they are creating a company to deliver fitness equipment to people in order to promote healthier lifestyles and to beat obesity, people will at least click on their link. They may not believe the company’s motives are pure but at least the mission statement is creating a hook. Then, through the transparency of social media, people can get a glimpse into your company’s day to day operations. Notable companies such as Buffer, Strike and Slack have proven that corporate transparency is something that consumers, business owners and even employees can enjoy. According to Andrew C. Belton, Owner of Symmetrical Media Marketing, “Social media has become the most effective and widely used interactive marketing tool and it is ideal for storytelling and building a brand for your company”. You could create behind-the-scenes videos, photos from the office, conferences, team outings and events that display your company culture. The goal should be creating appealing content and a brand that people can enjoy supporting. This will help your company to establish brand loyalty and credibility. The idea of dark room deals need to be melted away with the help of strategic transparency through social media. Symmetrical Media Marketing wants to help your company to leverage social media so that your company can expand into this new world of transparency. The future is interactive digital marketing and we’ll help you stay one step ahead of the curve.
Written by Christopher Baldasano
Edited by Andrew C. Belton