Transparency has been called the new form of marketing. Perhaps it’s not all that new. Companies have been trading brick walls for glass walls that create physical transparency. However, in a digital space, there is another type of wall that’s been coming down. More and more companies are now sharing their brand and culture with the public at large. Whether you’re a client, an audience member, or the general public, you can get a behind-the-scenes peek at what it’s like to be at a certain company. But the question is how can this be further leveraged, especially in email marketing campaigns?
People go crazy about secret data dumps. Just look at Wikileaks, which has sky-rocketed to success by setting up transparency to it’s extreme. You don’t need to be that extreme. Some marketing companies, for example, treat their employees like shareholders and have monthly financial meetings to disclose how much was made versus spent. Their argument for this is that it gets everyone to be realistic about the fiscal health of a company and what it takes to get the agency running every day – basically, what’s at stake. It gets the employees more invested and the transparency makes them feel respected.
You don’t need to do a financial data dump but you can dump info of some other variety that might be useful to your audience. You could, for example, share which content had the highest hits, the highest engagement (sharing some of the key feedback from that conversation), or the highest number of clicks. When you span across your company’s social media accounts over the last month, you’ll start piecing together this info which makes for a great infographic or straight forward report.
Another form of email marketing that is transparency-friendly is to share decision funnels. A huge gap between client and agency or institution is the “why.” Why is a certain course of action preferred over another? Why is a certain route taken? People have a hard time understanding this, but sharing a campaign that highlights how you arrive at decisions in general or taking case examples in that month, is a great insider look at how your company thinks. And that’s really key, because the transparency that builds your brand isn’t just about what you’re doing, it’s about who you are.
A Look Behind the Curtain:
If you’re in commerce, showing how you do business is actually a really great idea. Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia has a brilliant interactive map that shows every textile mill/factory in the brand’s supply chain. You can click on any point on the map that has a pin on it and up pops a data box that describes the facility: it’s history, the number of workers and gender equality ratios, the languages spoken and the product produced there. It really can’t get more transparent than that. Not only is it a great footprint to share, but it makes people feel connected with the product. The apparel isn’t something consumers receiving in a box; they can pinpoint where it came from. This level of transparency humanizes the product and the brand. That’s really the ultimate goal of transparency marketing: to humanize you to your audience.
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