Over the last few weeks we have added a little variety to our blog with a series of guest posts from marketing pros, students and clients.  It has been really fun to see the different viewpoints and the reactions to those posts from some of our regular readers.

Jon MertzToday’s guest post is by Jon Mertz is Vice President of Marketing at Corepoint Health. You can follow him on Twitter @jonmertz. Jon looks at two different types of character which are both important elements in your marketing strategy.

Character Matters in Marketing

It does not matter which aspect of marketing you are working in – character is crucial on two counts. First, as in having character, your organization must have sound principles of integrity. Second, as in being a character, your organization and, consequently, your marketing must have a personality. Let’s explore both.

Having Character. Reputation should be a paramount consideration in all marketing activities. Integrity and honesty matter. Build and protect your reputation. Specifically –

1.       Do not take questionable shortcuts to try to accelerate SEO or Twitter followers. Write good content frequently. Engage in the relevant conversations on Twitter. Build your presence methodically and consistently.

2.       Do not make offers which cannot be supported. Use call to actions which are credible and compelling.  Credible and compelling need to be inseparable.

3.       Do not advocate or use pushy or tricky sales efforts.  There is nothing worse than a sales call in which the person on the other end questions your intelligence after you say “no.” Take people at their word; they may not be ready to engage yet. Don’t turn a potential customer into an enemy just because they are not on your time schedule.

If a light was shining on your activities, will you stand up straight, smile, and be proud? If not, then don’t do it. Have character. Be reputable. Be honest. Have integrity in all interactions.

Being a Character. Personality should show through in all marketing activities. Having an engaging, yet consistent, personality will be more inviting for customers.

1.       Define your company’s personality.  Personality is branding in the sense it puts the spirit in your website, marketing collateral, direct mail, email, social media relationships, etc. Personality is evident in your marketing tactics and writing style. Is it conversational? Educational? Whimsical? “We feel your pain”? Whatever personality you want to come through, define it, and then use it.

2.       Deliver the personality consistently. The organization’s personality is not delivered just by marketing. There is a supporting cast. The personality, or brand, needs to be consistent in all interactions – sales, customer service, implementation, accounting, etc. The person calling in or walking through the door will have an expectation set by the marketing programs. If the experience is inconsistent, then questions will arise, and credibility will erode quickly. Be consistent throughout the organization in the personality you are projecting.

Character matters in marketing. Having character in all interactions is a necessity while being a character will bring your interactions to life. Maintain your principles while delivering a personality. Your customers will welcome it.

Jon Mertz is Vice President of Marketing at Corepoint Health. You can follow him on Twitter @jonmertz.