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  • Writer's pictureLisa Williams

Chapter 8 - Be Transparent & Authentic - Becoming Great by Being Vulnerable

This lesson came less from the interview questions and more from the great stories and positive results those stories generated.

Google's algorithm includes an element of transparency for reviews. If you have 100 reviews and every single one is a glowing recommendation and accolades for your company, Google knows it's not legitimate. Part of being transparent is being honest about your failures. Eric Ward was once asked in an online reputation management panel by a business owner, "What do I do to get rid of bad customer reviews?" Eric quickly replied, "Quit giving bad customer service."

There's no where to hide in digital marketing. Customers have a podium and a voice unlike any other time in history.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO whisperer and past VP of Marketing of Kodak, spoke to our SEMpdx group (Search Engine Marketing Professionals of Portland, Oregon) and shared a very painful, but revealing story.

He and his team had the challenge of trying to turn around market share and impression of an old respected company that stoically fought the trends (digital cameras) that threatened to choke the life out of Kodak.

As they began to fully embrace their new digital roots; crowdsourcing feedback for product features and engaging with their newly emerging market, they also embraced technology to share their new messaging.

Hayzlett and his team created a campaign that would include a commercial that would run in movie theaters prior to upcoming trailers. At the end of the commercial a code is given for interested prospects to text to Kodak. But what happens when you go to the movie? You turn your phone off. "Crickets," says Jeffrey.

Sharing this failure was a brave and authentic act. Our ability to be transparent, about successes and failures, improves trust between those responsible for brand success.

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