Truthfully, we have so many global problems at the moment and people are uninspired by the solutions offered by mainstream politicians. Apparently, we don't trust experts anymore. We don't trust data. As a B2B Marketer, I am interested in whether this post-truth atmosphere is one that businesses will inhale while making decisions? Is this emotive trend to construct big, beautiful, gilded Trumpian phrases one that B2B marketers should embrace?
My answer is No. The best B2B marketing will be more brutally truthful than ever.
As Post-Truth becomes the word of the year on both sides of the Atlantic, we could make blanket statements that people have stopped caring about the actual facts. Therefore, marketers should surely start telling more emotionally manipulative lies to help sell more stuff, right?
Yet with most B2B tech sales moving to a cloud based subscription model, the smash and grab days of enterprise goliaths are thankfully over. So for the health of a business, you need to buy technology that is truthful and free of BS. How we feel and relate to technology has to be authentic and truthful for the long haul.
In our atomised post-truth culture, the way some people feel has become a source of political truth. However, it is not yet a majority 'group think'. This kind of emotional, fact-free truth shifts faster than Micheal Gove's Christmas list. And just as our feelings about politicians shift when we feel let down, so does our trust in the brands who don't deliver.
The deodorant with the great advert worn by a celebrity won't make you feel good for long if you can smell your own sweaty stench by lunch. You won't feel all Danish and Hygge when your candles emit a toxic odour and Zara take note, people don't like buying dresses with dead mice sewn into them.
And the inconvenience and dissatisfaction of an underwhelming B2C promise is nothing compared to selling a business something that doesn't work.
The products I help bring to market are those that help businesses to remain healthy, to grow, to contribute to the economy. Profits are facts and losses are sadly job losses and we all know what happens when people feel insecure about their employment prospects.
So B2B marketing shouldn't start kowtowing to emotional post-truth nonsense. With currencies and markets in flux business leaders need more than ever to strip back the wiffle and focus on the facts.
Facts on a balance sheet raise emotions and so they should, because jobs and the health of nations depend on it. Powerful B2B marketing will remain powerfully fact based, being truthful in a post-truth world could just save it.
Elections and referendums are won or lost on the basis of trust, not facts or lies. Our post-truth world is not just confined to dishonest politicians – it seems we have liars everywhere, bankers, business moguls, celebrities, advertisers and tax-avoiders. Yet there never seems to be any meaningful retribution, in fact, it appears that lying is so commonplace it’s ignored by most.