I’m 44 years old now and I always remember my parents and grandparents saying they’d never seen an uglier election… with each election. I’m not sure that elections actually get uglier, I think a possibility may be that we simply grow stronger in our beliefs and we don’t let as much slide. I find myself researching what politicians’ statements much more than I used to, and I’m amazed at how much spin there is.
Twenty years ago, I couldn’t search in Youtube and see an actual quote or flip to Wikipedia to see details of the spin. Today, I’m doing it from my iPad while I’m sitting on the couch watching the politician. I’m doing it because their spin is building my suspicion. If I trusted them, I’m not sure I’d be fact-checking them in real-time. The same rules apply to your business, product or service.
A key issue is that our politicians attempt to hold the brand perfection that was so common decades ago and that could be held up in the media. In this 24 hour news cycle with video recorders on politicians virtually every minute of the day, the brand doesn’t stand a chance. The result is that every misstep is echoed through the opposition sites and stations reaching every corner of the globe. It’s no wonder, according to Gallop, that only 1 in 10 Americans approve of congress’ performance.
The problem is that humans are fallible and imperfect. So while the marketing spin of politicians increase, the scrutiny and distrust of those politicians increases at a greater rate. The words politics and marketing are nearly interchangeable. Political campaigns analyze audiences, polish the wording, hyper-target geographic and economic classes. Sounds a lot like marketers.
There’s a lesson to marketers in the scrutiny and disapproval of politicians. The more you increase the spin of your products and services, the more likely you are to not only dent your reputation… you’re going to destroy it. The more marketing spin you apply, the deeper the distrust and the more scrutiny will be applied. Even with our own clients, I’m always conservative in my setting of expectations. Missing a goal can be forgiven by your customer. Lying about a goal will never be.