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Personalization in marketing is all the rage now. This is when you open an email and it has your name on it. But I don’t buy it. Sure, it’s nice when Amazon shows other products I may like, but do I really need a bot to say my name at the beginning of an email newsletter? It feels inauthentic at best, creepy at worst.

In a world of automation, productized services, and software as a service, human creativity is getting mass produced and passed off as real. But you can’t play us for fools anymore. Customers are demanding authenticity, not personalization. Stock pics are undermining your efforts to be authentic in your marketing.

Authenticity is when your brand emerges from the pack of competitors and copycats as something real, almost tangible. People want something real. Your customers want something real. And you have something real inside of you to give them. You have your own style of clothes, your own way of speaking, laughing, and your own funky dance moves. That’s why your friends and family love you. If you tried to copy someone else you’d be a fraud and nobody likes a fraud. What if you transfer your authenticity into your brand? Customers are just friends that pay you for your product. They’ll be more likely to stay loyal to you as an authentic brand.

Your customers don’t want their name at the beginning of your email newsletter. They want to know that you write in an authentic style that’s YOUR style.