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March 5, 2013

If Content Marketing is about being open, how do I hide my imperfections?

by Tom De Baere
content marketing

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If content marketing and social media is all about being open, how do I act when some parts of my business are not perfect ?

Isn’t content marketing about showing that you understand the business of your customers, and helping them to better understand what your products or services mean to their business ?

But if you are fully open and honest about your offering, doesn’t that show your imperfections?

Won’t that show your weaknesses?

The chance is high that at a certain moment you bump into a weak point in your offering.

What do you do ? You try to hide it ? Or do you try to “bend the truth” ?

The effect of hiding imperfections

If you hide your imperfections or weaknesses, 2 things can happen :

  • Customers buy your products, and because you didn’t inform them enough, they are disappointed about what they’ve bought. You’ve just harmed your brand.
  • Customers see your weaknesses, and assume you don’t have an answer to the competition. This weakens your position, and as such it weakens your brand.

How to act?

Competitor attacks, product weaknesses, product issues, customer service issues, … all these can be your imperfections.

I say, in todays marketing environment, hiding them is a very, very bad idea.

The only good answer is to react:

  • Competitor attacks are countered by creating a strategic answer through products strategies and thought leadership content. Even before you have the products, features, services, … you give answers to your customers what YOU will have. If your customers believe in what you stand for, the ‘why’, they will listen and follow you.
  • Product weaknesses are solved by focusing on your strengths. That’s what differentiates you. Make sure they are know to your customers. Show what you have through content, and make sure your customers can find it on the web.
  • Customer service issues are solved by being reachable, honest, and helpful. When you have lousy products, having good customer service is difficult. But I take it you have good products. Otherwise you are out of business soon. When you have issues, be open about it, communicate what you’ll do about it, and do something about it.

You are not differentiating yourself with your weaknesses.

Differentiate yourself with your strengths.


What do you think?


Warm regards,

Tom De Baere