On Protecting Your Integrity And Your Credibility

A few years ago, small IT companies could a make a pretty good profit on disaster recovery services and automated data backup systems.

They had a great “fact” to help them. There were a number of versions that went something like this:

According to a Gartner study, 80% of businesses that suffered major data loss due to a disaster (such as hurricane or fire damage) went out of business within three years.

Protect Your Integrity and Credibility

… but it can be hard to find.

Sometimes it was a Gartner study. Or a FEMA report. Sometimes it was from IBM. It was 2 out of 3, or 70%, or 90%. They referenced Hurricane Katrina sometimes, other times 9/11.

Funny thing, no one could seem to find the original source.

Now, was the whole IT industry scamming the market? Or were these small businesses just so desperate, they were willing to repeat without question claims they had read somewhere, and had come to accept as fact?

I thought about this when I read an amazing claim the other day.

It said that a high percentage of customers reported being very satisfied with their vendor, just before switching to a new vendor.

Now, this rings true to my experience. And it was reported in a prominent business periodical several times. So I was going to pass it along to you.

But where did it come from? I couldn’t find the source. Anywhere. If it’s fabrication or an exaggeration, and I repeat it, what does that make me?

Credibility is key in inbound marketing, and all marketing.

People are hungry for relevant, compelling information from your company. But if they sniff spin or hype or worse, you’ll create a cynic, not a fan. Even if you’re just repeating a claim from a manufacturer, the customer will hold you responsible, as they should.

Here’s a true fact you can count on: Technology gives us many more fact-checking capabilities than ever before. But it also increases our responsibility. Let’s all take it seriously.

Have you ever been asked or told to make a dubious claim? Or has someone you trusted made a dubious claim to you? How did you handle it? How did it make you feel?

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