Is fake news smart marketing? One of the many freedoms that we as Americans enjoy (and endure) is the freedom of the press. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States describes and protects the freedom of the press. This freedom keeps the government from restricting the information made available to American citizens.
Unfortunately, many people abuse the freedom of the press. News corporations, though not controlled by our government, control what we do and do not hear or see. This allocates a substantial amount of power to corporations such as ABC, NBC, and FOX News. One of the largest and most obvious abuses of power in the news industry is seen in the realm of fake news.
What is Fake News?
Fake News is exactly that; news that is not based on truth or fact. Unfortunately, it happens all of the time. People have always had an obsession with ‘hot-button’ topics, dramatic stories, and gossip. For this reason, topics and stories presented by big news corporations have become more about what the general population wants to hear and less about what the general population needs to hear. Stories are fabricated to satiate the public and their desire for the dramatic and interesting. Fake news can also serve a more insidious purpose. Large corporations have started utilizing fake news to expand their audiences and to promote their own agendas. This practice is, of course, highly money motivated. In this regard, though sometimes bordering the line of ‘immoral’, fake news is actually a brilliant marketing strategy. This marketing strategy can also be called Smart Marketing.
What is Smart Marketing?
SMART is an acronym used to outline a particular marketing strategy. It is a very successful strategy. This style of marketing can also double as a business plan. Let’s take a look at the acronym and break it down into application.
- Specific: Set each goal in a very specific manner. “Obtain more viewers this year” is a goal, but not a specific one. “Obtain 15% more viewers by the end of 2020” is a more specific goal. It gives a clear direction as to what’s needed to attain it.
- Measurable: All goals must be measurable. This means that vague goals such as “to be more successful” should be avoided. A better goal would be “to make 20% more profit next year”. Profit is measurable. “General success” is much harder to define and measure.
- Attainable: The goals set must be possible to accomplish. A goal like “obtaining 150% more viewers by the end of 2020” is most likely unrealistic. A goal like “obtaining 15% more viewers by the end of 2020” is much more achievable and can lead to measurable success.
- Relevance: It is important that each new goal and ‘direction’ should remain relevant to the consumer. A brilliant marketing strategy would be wasted if the public did not care about the product that was being advertised or promoted.
- Time-bound: Each goal must have a realistic deadline. If the deadline is too short, disappointment and failure will follow. Furthermore, if the deadline is too far into the future, it is easy to become complacent or lose track of the desired goal.
Smart Marketing in the News Industry
When considered together, Smart Marketing and Fake News go hand-in-hand almost inherently. Each goal set by corporations such as ABC, NBC, and FOX News is very specific. The amount of money needed, the number of viewers, the target audience, etc. are all thoroughly planned with the airing of each story and advertisement. The goals are also measurable. How many people are viewing? How are the opinions of voters and consumers altered by this? This industry has attainable goals and relevance is easily maintained. The nature of the news industry is also inherently time-bound. Fake news is a brilliant Smart Marketing strategy that, although nefarious, has proven to be a ‘staple’ marketing technique for big news corporations.
In light of all of this, it is important to be an informed consumer. Do research on products and stories presented to you. Click here to learn more about Smart Marketing and other strategies that can help to grow your business.