What is transparency marketing? What defines transparency in marketing? And what’s the most relevant and informative way to approach this topic?
There are multiple definitions as the evolving landscape of digital marketing and data aggregation collides with old-fashioned, on-the-ground and in-the-store marketing and advertising. What’s more, transparency marketing has different meanings for different audiences.
In an age of data, we might define transparency as the degree to which we lift the hood on our data aggregation tools, such as those we employ at Leavened.
If agencies value transparency in marketing analytics — as they should — then they’re in the position to define their place at the cutting edge of modern marketing, specifically marketing mix modeling (MMM).
Agencies should share the ins and outs and hows and whys of data processes involving public-facing products and clients. For too long, the data aggregation tools and the processes utilized by agencies have been hidden, as though the agency itself preferred to operate behind closed doors and shuttered windows.
Our impending cookieless world was born in no small part from the privacy demands of online consumers. Brands that betray that trust may lose market share as consumers search elsewhere for quality products and services that also promote transparency and trust.
The same can be said for agencies that are not transparent in their interactions with clients. That’s why Leavened is designed to allow for transparency — the lack of which has been a frustration for clients for decades.
When a company operates behind closed doors; when there is a lack of complete transparency in its marketing processes; with no sharing of information or processes with its public-facing efforts; and with no attempts to take that info from the company, share its leaders, employees, values, culture, strategy, business processes, and goals with the public, and build up brand trust, then it’s going to be tough to make headway in incremental sales in both the short-term and the long-term.
The same goes for marketing agencies. An agency’s relationship with its clients through data-sharing is like a brand’s relationship with its audience through social media posts.
Leavened is not a black box; each and every step of our analyses are available for download, and the entire process is 100% transparent. Unlike other solutions that take data and return many months later with recommendations but not insight into the data, Leavened’s solutions put clients back in the driver’s seat.
When agencies make recommendations regarding future ad spends and marketing budget and allocation, they should embrace transparency marketing. This builds trust between themselves and their clients.
Additionally, producing winning campaigns based on that data extends and solidifies that trust.
One final note on black boxes: In our experience, when a business claims proprietary methods when refusing to allow for full transparency, it should raise some red flags. Sometimes, that excuse is used to hide a poorly constructed backend from clients’ eyes.
In other words, a lot of poor designs can be hidden inside a black box.
Paying Transparency Forward
Clients should further embrace transparency in marketing analytics because the data will help inform future ad spends, thus continuing to help build a brand’s expertise, authority, and trust factor. With data informing their ad spends, clients can come closer than ever before to meeting their customers where they are — and when they are.
That type of intimate proximity in marketing demands and deserves a re-evaluation of what many perceive to be tried-and-true business tactics.
Thus, agencies should never place a black veil of secrecy around their data aggregations and/or the insights they glean from them.
With MMM, marketers and businesses can understand the total impact of all their marketing channels on incremental sales. Unlike previous methods, MMM recognizes the contribution of online as well as offline media channels.
Furthermore, MMM takes into account external influences, such as pricing, distribution, inventory, and other market-based factors. This model is used by the largest global brands, each of which will continue to hone its ability to meet consumers right at the point where they are ready to make a buying or brand decision.
Finally, transparency marketing means transparency in data capture, too. In Leavened’s case, this approach limits the amount of consumer surveillance that brands must engage in.
Transparency marketing will continue to evolve — as will the definitions used to describe it. But one thing is certain: the continuing need for honesty, integrity, and transparency in marketing and advertising as agencies and their clients gain access to unprecedented amounts of data regarding the browning and spending habits of the consumers we aim to serve.