Do marketing pros have an honesty problem?

Most people agree that lying is improper, but marketers are accustomed to fudging the facts to persuade audiences. However, today’s consumers are more skeptical than ever.

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It’s quite common to be dishonest as children from time to time. It’s a behavior most people outgrow. After all, deep down, we all know it’s wrong.

That is, unless you work in marketing.

Although marketing pros like to believe they follow honest practices, chances are they’re guilty of stretching the truth in some way. For example, you might have used dubious statistics to sell a product, made a grand claim and then refined it in the small print—or even just kept a customer or client in the dark until the problem “resolves itself.”

Due to practices such as these, customers are having a hard time trusting organizations. In fact, less than half of customers believe in—or trust—advertising. Furthermore, around two thirds of consumers in the U.S. don’t trust large businesses to “do the right thing.”

Historically, this wouldn’t have been a problem as dialogues between companies and customers were very one-sided. Typically, the organization disseminated a message and the recipient absorbed it without question.

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