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Eight Signs Your Marketing Is Coming Off as Inauthentic to Customers

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

In the pursuit of sales, it can be tempting to try any technique you can think of to market to potential customers and get them interested in purchasing your product. However, this — among other actions — can come off as inauthentic and may actually be a turnoff for potential customers, rendering your marketing efforts wholly ineffective.

To avoid this issue, you’ll need to watch out for signs of inauthenticity. Below, a panel of Rolling Stone Culture Council business leaders weigh in on some of the signs you should be looking out for and what you can do to fix the problem once you find it.

You’re Trying to Close the Deal too Fast

I think marketing can come off as disingenuous if it tries too hard to close the deal too fast. I think good marketing understands it’s a long-term strategy. If marketing seems too eager, it becomes background noise. Some of the most effective marketing campaigns I have seen are the ones that educate or inspire in some way. – Kelly Schwarze, Indie Film Factory

You Aren’t Getting a Lot of Engagement From Followers

If you post to social media or test something out and don’t hear much back from your followers, it might not be resonating with them. Instagram Stories is a good place to test something without having it stay on your feed permanently. We tried something a little different last year and just weren’t feeling it. Something felt forced and inauthentic to us, so we changed direction. – Karina Michel Feld, Tallulah Films

You’re Relying too Heavily on Influencers

To influence is to leverage. However, overly using influencers to market a product or service can appear inauthentic, especially when a plan is not implemented correctly. Instead, a business should leverage their strengths and focus on fulfilling customer needs or providing solutions to customers’ problems. Balance between influencers and telling real marketing stories is imperative. – David Castain, David Castain & Associates

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You’re Focusing More on the Product Than the Customer

If your business’s marketing materials state the features of your product or service, it is not making a connection with your customers. Marketing that is authentic targets the way the product or service makes your customer feel or the benefit they will get from the purchase. A marketing campaign should not focus on the business, but rather on the customer. – Matt Campbell, My Wedding Songs

You’re Trying to Mimic Your Competitor

You might come across as inauthentic when you’re focusing on what your competition is doing and trying to mimic it. Focus on finding your story that makes your brand stand out so that customers and prospects can recognize your brand as an industry expert. – Eric Mitchell, Eric L Mitchell Media

You’re Getting Bad Reviews

Beware of bad reviews. Rather than wait for a pattern of crises to occur, be proactive by investing in reputation management, which means monitoring and protecting your brand’s online reputation in regards to reviews, social media and major search engines. Furthermore, do an extensive review on the reasoning behind the bad reviews to ensure preventative measures are taken to minimize future occurrences. – Tiffany Gaines, SS Global Entertainment

You’re Trying to Appeal to Everyone

A mistake some businesses make is trying to appeal too broadly to all potential customers instead of targeting their specific audience. When you try to target everyone, you end up appealing to no one in particular. It’s important to identify your ideal customer and craft messaging that resonates with them specifically. This will help ensure your marketing efforts reach the right people. – Evan Nison, NisonCo

Your Offerings Are Unclear

You need to be transparent in your marketing and upfront about what exactly you are offering to your clients. If your offerings are unclear, you need to be able to adjust your marketing mediums to explain your services or products more in depth. This increases customer faith and boosts your brand’s relationship with potential customers. – Christian Anderson (Trust’N), Lost Boy Entertainment LLC

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