Tactical Transparency: Why Keeping Quiet Is Actually More Risky

Monday, April 19, 2010 General News J E 4
Something interesting happened in the news this morning. The papers and websites reported that David Letterman had slept with a number of his employees. Typically the source for such information would be the women in question, or other concerned parties. The source this time was Letterman himself, who announced it on the air Thursday night. In this case Letterman was using a strategic planning technique to avoid an extortion attempt from somebody who had all the information. But it raises an interesting point: more and more, privacy and secrecy are becoming a thing of the past. And in response, more people and companies are recognizing honesty as a viable policy in their web strategy. The book “Tactical Transparency,” by Shel Holtz and John C. Havens has helped popularize this point and helps marketers consider transparency as part of their strategic planning and web strategy. In particular, social media is becoming the de facto platform for open and honest conversation with your customers. Your brand’s web strategy and particularly your social media strategy should be based on this model. Many brands want to play the games of the past. Customers are complaining about your product? Bury the evidence. Scandal in the boardroom? Ignore it and it’ll blow over. Quality issues? Just advertise more and nobody will notice. This complete lack of transparency in strategic planning can be devastating to a brand. The fact is that in today’s world consumers have massive amounts of information available at their fingertips. And with the advent of social media marketing, consumers expect to hear from you as much as they hear about you in your go to market strategy. And they expect to ask you questions and get answers. Because so many companies are still avoiding this open conversation with their customers in their strategic planning, those who take advantage now have a unique opportunity to inspire amazing levels of brand loyalty in their go to market strategy. AlterSeekers is a brand promotions agency in New York focusing on promotions consulting and planning, web strategy, social media marketing (including Facebook strategy), go to market strategy, and overall strategic planning. For more information see


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