"Transparency is the new black."

It's FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week in Toronto, and presenter Chuck Porter of ad agency CP+B says "transparency is the new black." Marketing Magazine reports that he told audiences today's consumers have "unbelievable marketing filters," and brands must be more honest to connect with them. "You can't lie anymore," he said, "because there's the internet." The sentiment was echoed by speakers at yesterday's BCAMA Ad Agency Panel in Vancouver, with Cossette's Ute Preusse telling marketers that "We aren't in control of all of our brand messaging anymore, but we are in control of our brand."

In today's hyper-informed culture, it's impossible to project a brand image that is untrue. If you want customers to believe something about your company, you need to adjust your company, not your messaging. Align your corporate vision and business practices with your brand ideals to be the kind of company you want consumers to think you are. Then focus on communicating your values through your marketing efforts and through the customer experience. Tell people the truth, and they will trust you. And customers who trust you will be eager to give you their business.

To ensure your vision and brand message and expressed effectively to your audiences, develope a Digital Marketing Roadmap. A roadmap helps you define who your audiences are and how you should articulate your messaging based on their needs, behaviors, and demographics.