I think I'm on an "authenticity" jag. Yesterday, I blogged about the possibilities of using live webcams in the professional services environment, deliberately, as part of an experience-oriented marketing program. Today, I read Tom Peters' post on the MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog in which he publicly admires Robin Wolaner's book, Naked in the Boardroom ("the best book on strategy and tactics for women aiming to make it big in business" ). Unbelievably, I have never heard of this book; I usually gobble up books about women in business and women entrepreneurs.
Several of Wolaner's nuggets, as cited by Peters, are fantastic endorsements of my reality-as-marketing-strategy kick:
- "NAKED TRUTH # 2: Business is personal."
- "NAKED TRUTH # 9: Showing honest emotion usually helps you in the workplace."
I know professional service firms work hard to find the sweet-spot of their cultures, and then to build awareness about those cultural sweet spots through their marketing programs. I know PSFs have accepted the importance of manifesting their trustworthiness -- which of course requires authenticity. Professional service marketers don't need a lecture about my "be-who-you-are" infatuation.
Nevertheless, I challenge all of us to find a way to harness our firms' authenticity to create a compelling client experience. Marketers, ask yourselves: in our firm's focus to manage its brand identity, have we lost something uniquely "real" in the process? Are we packaging our firm too slickly, too professionally? What's personal about our company, and how can we let our clients see it?