My question on Linkedin.com just closed tonight:
“What disciplines should marketers be training within to ensure authenticity?
The question was a follow up to an earlier question; one person, Richard Michie, who answered my question about the future of marketing suggested that authenticity would be very important for the future of marketing. If that is correct, it is also an issue that bloggers discuss a lot in how to run an effective blog. Which profession can best teach authenticity? Is it public relations, journalism, or perhaps more interestingly a spiritual advisor, or religion? Though for those of you who follow Richard Dawkins I’d be interested to hear secular responses.”
Here's a synopsis of opinion from the many great answers I received:
-Authenticity comes from your background, learned from parents.
-Authenticity cannot be taught.
-It can be taught, but best taught by those people who have wrestled with their own identity.
-If you tell a good enough story that will be enough to be authentic.
-It's not a matter of just being honest, you also have the expertise to share the customer's perspective, and you have to be relevant. (Good quote from Ryan Turner, "Presence reveals authority. expression demonstrates originality. visibility betrays credibility. experience builds authenticity-- wherever you work, whatever you learn.")
-Marketers need to study marketing to be authentic.
-Failure and learning from failing is authentic.
-Stories are important, they have to be true though, and be able to withstand public scrutiny.
A lot of people thought that authenticity could not be taught, yet by asking the question I assume that authenticity can be taught. Many people stated that you gain authenticity from your background, yet to me that means that you learn about authenticity from someone even if its from your parents or childhood.
I thought the answer that marketing can teach authenticity was interesting, especially as the profession has such an inauthentic public image. However, if you understand the real definition of the term marketing, and how the concept is all about making a better product based on what customers want and need, then you quickly realize it is tough for a marketer to be inauthentic if they are following the discipline.