Remember the days when someone would offer you something for free? What were the first words out of your mouth? They were probably the same as mine. “What’s the catch?” Why do we say that? Well, it often seems too good to be true. Shiny advertising has been a marketers trick for decades. If they shine enough lights on their product, it may draw our attention to what they have behind the curtain.
Many businesses use the word free as a lure. They will offer their solution to us without initial cost, then convince us to pay after seeing the value of their solution. But is that truly free? We would argue these are trials, not free solutions.
"Free" Marketing Automation
Lately, we've seen many businesses offer “free marketing automation software”. But are they? Mautic is free and will be forever. But this is not a marketing concept. This is a philosophy.
When we set out to produce marketing software, we were compelled by our mission. To empower organizations by providing powerful communication tools to anyone who needed them. Free speech is a freedom we often take for granted. To provide a solution that empowers free speech is an incredibly powerful concept.
GNU Free Software Definition says:
We campaign for these freedoms because everyone deserves them. With these freedoms, the users (both individually and collectively) control the program and what it does for them. When users don't control the program, we call it a “nonfree” or “proprietary” program. The nonfree program controls the users, and the developer controls the program; this makes the program an instrument of unjust power.
So while others offer “free” marketing automation tools, read the fine print. Because free for a month isn’t free. It’s bad marketing.
We believe in the concept of authentic marketing. Authentic marketing is about value and values, it’s not about trickery. When we have something of value, we don't need shady marketing to communicate it. Marketing should be the artful way we convey and connect individuals to that value. So for our marketing efforts to be effective, we must consider trust as a key element for connection. If we continue to use trickery, we diminish not only our brand, but our value proposition.
As marketers, let’s strive to be authentic in the way we communicate with buyers. We can’t be lured into traditional marketing schemas. Our values AND value must shine at every step of the customer journey. The Young Entrepreneur Council encourages us:
Don’t get trapped by marketing dogma. Think outside the box and be willing to take risks, so long as it’s in line with your philosophy. For instance, blog openly about the problems your company seeks to solve in the world and how you’re working to overcome them by fulfilling your mission.
Honesty, truth and conviction. When we communicate our values using these principles, it is authentic marketing. And the data shows it's what customers are seeking. Let’s not disappoint them. It's time we start using our creative voice to engage buyers in authentic conversations and communicate with our vision, not archaic marketing tricks that convey false promises.
“... human nature dictates that people have a hard time genuinely connecting with, being close to, or really trusting other humans who (pretend to) have no weaknesses, flaws, or mistakes.’ This is not only true of human connections; it’s true of our relationships with brands.
We encourage you to join our community. Because free is free. Forever.