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Marketing In The #FakeNews Era

By Peter Horst

*A Book Review*

by Michael C. Gray

© 2020 by Michael C. Gray

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2016 represented a sea change that was developing in the cultural landscape of the United States. Our country no longer has a large, homogenous "middle," but is polarized into special interest groups, or "tribes."

These groups now look at themselves as "us" and "them." "Others" are viewed with fear and exclusion.

This development is a minefield for corporate management.

In the past, corporations have said they didn't want to be involved in social issues. Today the public expects authentic leadership from corporations. In addition, the corporate brand image is now intertwined with the personal lives of the corporation's leaders and employees.

In the past, a misstep could be overlooked by public relations with the media. With social media, everyone with a smart phone is a reporter and any misstep can be broadcast with a viral post. The most viral posts express rage about a real or perceived injustice, with potentially devastating effects.

Every employee in a corporation has a responsibility to be a brand manager because misbehavior by an employee can create a firestorm.

According to author Peter Horst in Marketing In the #FakeNews Era, corporations can no longer be guided solely by the mantra of focusing on the customer. Since customers are demanding authentic leadership, corporate management must become introspective and decide what they stand for. Most corporate mission statements aren't substantive enough to provide a moral compass to weather a negative publicity storm. Corporate management and employees should agree on a statement of guiding values.

When deciding on guiding values, corporate management has to accept they will be alienating some customers, and customers vote with their purchases. The good news is the customers who agree with a corporation's values tend to be fiercely loyal tribe members.

For a fascinating look at today's business challenges from the polarization of America and how corporations can more effectively meet those challenges, read Marketing In The #FakeNews Era by Peter Horst.

Buy it on Amazon: Marketing In The Fakenews Era: New Rules For A New Reality Of Tribalism, Activism, And Loss of Trust.

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