Business

OPINION

What’s Hush-Hush Marketing?

Who are these mysterious and secretive executives behind millions of corporate Web sites?

There are millions of very expensive, well-designed Web sites all over the globe. Most have a lot of information to offer, with great graphic illustrations, supportive explanations about their relevant experiences and capabilities with upfront personalities.

But in a very large majority of cases, what is missing is the proof about who the people behind the site really are: the owners, the management, the staff and their true particulars. This information is often missing, as the viewer is only left with one or two e-mail addresses to a department.

You have no idea how and why this business originated, or how its Web site came about. Most talk about their teams and their wonderful experiences, and often bundle their education with the total years of experiences as “Our team has a combined 17 degrees from major universities, 27 years of working experience and has traveled to 7 countries all together.”

Great, now you really feel comfortable, as you wonder how many total pink slips they have all acquired during their lifetime or how many years combined they have spent behind bars.

Faceless, Nameless, Empty Empires

We are living in dangerous times. The personal identity of each of us is a number one issue. Every corner of our daily life is now becoming a checking point; a simple credit card purchase to a job application. You better be the person you say you are, otherwise Uncle Tom Ridge and the staff of Homeland will decide for you. Stand up and identify yourself truly, correctly and honestly, or just shut up.

Less than 3 percent of Web sites have truly identifiable and easily accessiblecomponents telling about the principals behind the business. Call it shyness, fear or just corporate discretion; this identification seems to be a thing of the past.

Customers want to know with whom they are dealing. Unless it is offshoregambling, or some contraband-porno operation, for all other legitbusinesses, it only makes sense to put your smiley faces and yourpersonal images and your personal information forward.

We must sympathize with the brave entrepreneurs who stick out their necksand savings in pursuit of new business ideas and use e-commerce and relyon Web sites as the cheapest medium to push about their capabilities.Nothing wrong here.

The smart ones are using this to great success. If you follow the rules of any commerce, offering quick and easy access to the management of the company is rule number-one of any marketing andadvertising strategy. However, when this process turns into a mysterious, hush-hush, secretive branding maneuver, it becomes necessaryto raise these questions or suggest calling the Homeland.

Creating Trust

The days of a 15-minute fame and fortune are now old and boring stories. Today, instant punditry and guru-ism are only a Web site away. Fake data, fake certifications, fabricated experiences and dishonest bragging are all too common on Web sites. For this reason alone, it is absolutely necessary for the true and honest players on e-commerce to post their name identity, as well as photos, pictures of products and any other proof of who they are and what they say is all real.

There are several things that will create trust and confidence among your potential customers.

  • Ownership. The Web sites offer wonderful opportunities to roll out your business propositions and clearly identify your role as owners of the idea and gatekeepers of the technologies. There is no reason not to show yourface and let the customer see you and feel comfortable doing businesswith you.
  • Profile. Explain in some detail how and why you came to the idea that youare presenting, and why you and your team are really capable of servicingsuch a business proposal.
  • Leadership. Remember, customers are looking for expertise, and you better prove it, loud and clear. Either you have it or you don’t. There is no need tofabricate an expensive Web site, and try to convince people that behind the great graphics lies this mythical secret talent.
  • Accessibility. Unless you are homeless, living out of a cardboard box, there is no need not to clearly identify your location of operation, size, staff, people and any other pertinent information. If you do not have anything to hide, and you expect that the customer will come to you with open arms, then it is expected that you do the same.

    If you know who you are, then show it, otherwise consider contacting your local Homeland in a hush-hush.


    Naseem Javed, author Naming for Power and also Domain Wars, is recognized as a world authority on global name identities and domain issues. Javed founded ABC Namebank, a consultancy he established a quarter century ago, and conducts executive workshops on image and name identity issues. Contact him at [email protected].


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