Being 100% open and honest in sales and marketing is unheard of. It’s not that marketers lie or are seriously dishonest. It’s just that they focus on the positives and make a big deal out of them, while diverting attention away from the potential negatives as much as possible.

But what if being open about the weaknesses could actually strengthen your marketing?

Many marketers over the years have discovered the power of complete honesty and here’s why they were so successful:

  1. Honesty in marketing surprises customers

We are all so used to having information about a company filtered, that when a brand starts talking about the bits they don’t normally discuss publically, we are taken by surprise.

But this surprise isn’t always a bad thing. There will always be a select few who are put off by your honestly about your shortcomings. But these select few are the ones who would be most likely to complain if they bought from you anyway. The majority will actually be more likely to warm to your brand because of your honesty!

  1. It shows confidence in what you are selling

If you are confident enough in what you are selling to openly highlight the weaknesses of it, then this shows the customer how confident you are that the strengths will more than make up for it.

Highlighting weaknesses and then backing this up with how you are overcoming them or putting the weaknesses into content is a great way to build confidence in your brand.

  1. It builds trust between you and the customer

If you are being completely honest about the bad points, then the customer is more likely to feel like they can trust what you say about the good points.

In a world where the majority of what marketing campaigns say is questioned and scrutinised, having customers’ trust is a powerful resource.

  1. It eliminates the less likely buyers and highlights the most likely

As mentioned in the first reason, being completely honest is likely to scare a select few buyers off. Scaring buyers away might seem like the opposite of what you are trying to achieve, but in actual fact it can be a blessing in disguise!

By weeding out those who are less likely to buy and would probably not be satisfied if they did buy, you are getting rid of the time-wasters and hassle-makers. You are then left with the people who your product/service is most suited to and who are not put off by the weak points of it because to them the strengths more than make up for it. These are your ideal customers.


Velocity share some great examples of shockingly honest marketing campaigns that were hugely successful, it’s an interesting read!


Have you ever used shocking honestly in your marketing campaigns or seen a campaign that was insanely honest and successful? We’d love to hear about it! Twe