Authenticity – What is the real deal?

About a month ago I saw this phrase on LinkedIn and it stuck with me. “Authenticity cuts through the noise”

I’m from a generation that has grown up with social media, and it was all so easy once upon a time. You came home from school, logged onto MSN messenger, and spend four hours choosing a song lyric to add alongside your name whilst picking one of ten emojis that existed at the time. Over the last twenty years, it has grown like some sort of evil entity from an Avengers film taking over the world, and now, whether we like it or not, it runs parallel to our daily lives. That word best describes it for me. Noise. Twitter screams at you telling you the next Premier League manager that needs to be sacked, or which member of government has committed political suicide this week. Instagram yells at you until you buy whatever item of clothing you googled eight days ago for twenty seconds. “You may also like” this profile of a supermodel on a beach who doesn’t actually exist and is a scam to drain money from you. Facebook is…. The worst of them all. The loudest of them all. An endless conveyor belt of arguments between your neighbors, your friends, your family and whoever else decides to chip in.

I do actually like social media. Despite all these jokes I think it’s arguably one of the most influential inventions in the last century. It can build a brand from someone’s garage into a billion-dollar company or tear down the reputation of a celebrity in a matter of hours. At no time in history has a news leak been able to travel so fast around the world. We’ve come a long way from sending messengers with handwritten letters between towns or via smoke signals.

But this blog isn’t about how far we’ve come and the history of social media. I’ll leave that to the marketing students. The question I want to ask is how we cut through all this noise, all this rubbish, all this content and be heard. The answer, I think anyway, is down to your authenticity. People can usually sniff out something fake like a well-trained bloodhound, which then leads inevitably to trial by social media, and courtroom feeds. The person or brand in the courtroom demands that they then explain themselves. Lazy marketing and lazy copywriting abound that we’ve seen a million times before and are often met with an eye roll or even worse… not even acknowledgment of the message. Forgetting it immediately as it fades into consciousness until eat, sleep repeat time.

Good examples like Innocent and Aldi are changing the game. Instead of copy and paste slogans and taglines, they post hilarious comments and retweets calling out other brands or commenting on current affairs. My marketing friends tell me that there’s a deeper and much more complicated strategy behind it all. which I’m sure there is, and probably the point is that it feels like a bunch of friends sitting in an office having a laugh.

Gymshark and AU vodka are two other brands that shout about their humble beginnings and subsequently are snowballing in success online. How many CEOs of billion-dollar companies are seen on a market stall in London on a Saturday selling their products? This was exactly the stunt that the incredibly humble and likable CEO Ben Francis, for Gymshark, pulled earlier this year. Similarly, AU vodka is just a ‘bunch of guys’ regularly posting phone videos of themselves loading trucks with their product out of their warehouse. The three founders as now worth forty million pounds each.

Even the music business has changed. Gone are the days of manufactured boy and girl bands singing catchy songs with autotune. That wouldn’t fly as easily now. Artists need to seem real, and authentic and bring their own personality into their music. Lewis Capaldi is an example. Show me in what marketing book it says that it’s a good idea to pose half-naked in a pair of Y-Fronts on a billboard to promote your new single, which coincidently went straight to number one in the singles charts. Every news forum online is littered with half-written ‘clickbait’ headlines that are designed to tempt you into reading, but most of them lead down a dead end to a less-than-invigorating bombshell denouement.

On Saturday 15th of October, 2022 Rob Delaney the American actor and comedian posted an article online for the Times, (‘The heaviest pain in the world’) in which he describes coming to terms with the death of his 2-year-old son. There are so many articles online these days and I barely read them properly. I read this twice. It is one of the most heartbreaking, genuine, and honest pieces of writing I have ever read. It feels like he is across the table from you reading it. With the amount of ‘clickbait’ headlines and articles, this is one that cut straight through all of that and left a lasting impression. It resonated, as it was authentic.

Circling back to social media platforms, the newer ones seemed to have cottoned on to this, especially Gen Z favorites TikTok and BeReal, which offer a snapshot into the life of the user that is much harder to fake. How can we learn from all this?

At Global Talent 2020, how can we cut through the noise to reach our candidates and clients to leave a positive lasting impression? Great candidates in this market are called and emailed multiple times every day, so why are they going to choose us? We try and be authentic with everything we do. We’re just humans at the end of the day, hospitality and recruitment professionals that have been through it all and can offer an empathetic and personal service to the person who needs or is open to their next great career move.
Between us at Global Talent 2020, we create and schedule all our own marketing, and our message is very simple. We’re real people that are honest, and professional, and can help you find a job you want if you are a candidate on the market or start building a relationship where we can reach a point to fill vacancies for you if you are a business. We try and post real pictures, of us as a team because that’s what the majority of our work is. Working very closely with each other to drive the business forward and help each other with various situations. The answer to reaching your target market isn’t about making the loudest noise, but rather making an authentic one.

Yours truly,

Ben Jones

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