In today's highly interconnected world, it's essential to think carefully about whom you might offend with your marketing efforts. With the rise of social media, it's too easy for a misguided marketing campaign to spiral out of control quickly, resulting in widespread condemnation and a PR nightmare. For example, consider the reaction to Pepsi's now-infamous Kendall Jenner ad. The ad, intended to be a lighthearted take on protests and social justice movements, was widely panned as tone-deaf and insensitive.
In the era of social media, it's more important than ever to tread carefully regarding marketing. Otherwise, you risk alienating your target audience and causing significant damage to your brand.
Maintain your perspective
While it's essential to be aware of the potential risks of marketing, it's also important to keep things in perspective. In most cases, the number of people offended by a marketing campaign is relatively small. And while sales may take a hit in the short term, they generally rebound quickly. In fact, in some cases, controversy can be helpful by increasing the salience of your brand. Of course, there's a fine line between generating buzz and causing a PR disaster. But if you're careful, you can use marketing to build awareness and create meaningful connections with your target audience.
Do not be scared to take chances or offer innovative ideas because you are afraid of being disliked. It'd be ideal if you were much more afraid or apathetic, and that's wonderfully freeing creativity. After all, marketing is about starting discussions rather than stopping them. So go out there and create a stir—make sure it's for the right reasons.
The status quo bias is a cognitive bias that refers to our tendency to stick with the current situation, even if a better option is available. This bias can lead us to make suboptimal decisions because we are reluctant to change what we are already doing.
Alienation, on the other hand, is a feeling of isolation or disconnection from something essential to us. This can happen when we feel the current situation does not represent our values. Unlike the status quo bias, alienation does not necessarily mean we resist change. Instead, it simply means that we feel disconnected from the current situation.
When researching, it's essential to be aware of both the status quo bias and alienation.
Following the herd
It's been said that we're all susceptible to groupthink, and there's truth to that. We see it happen constantly: people getting swept up in a certain way of thinking or behaving, even if it goes against their better judgment.
Research has shown that when it comes to making decisions, we're far more influenced by the opinions of others than we might realise.
This phenomenon is known as social proof and is a powerful force in human behaviour. Social proof occurs when we look to others around us to help guide our behaviour. We do this because we believe that other people have information or knowledge that we don't have and that they can therefore help us make better decisions.
The best way to win people over is to provide them with value. Whether it's valuable information, an appealing offer, or something else entirely, give them a reason to stick around. And don't forget – once you have their attention, don't bombard them with requests or pushy sales tactics. That's sure to turn them off. Instead, continue providing value and build a relationship of trust. Then, they'll be more likely to do business with you when the time is right. Follow these principles, and you'll be well on your way to successful marketing that wins customers instead of alienating them.
Do you have any other tips for avoiding aggressive marketing?