People hate marketers because marketers lie, cheat and steal.
Now, you may protest. You may say you don't lie, cheat or steal.
I understand. You adhere to the letter of the law, you follow the rules, and you resent the implication of any dishonesty.
But even if you are “clean” as a marketer, guess what? It doesn't matter.
You see, what matters is if your customers think you lie, cheat and steal, it might as well be true. Because its true for them, and that's all that matters.
Perception is the reality.
What do you do, then, to change things?
Well. Change things.
Be more than just “clean”. Be honest. But not just to the letter of the law — be honest to the point that it makes you uncomfortable. Be refreshingly honest.
Think of Southwest Airlines. People love this airline, even though it has the most degrading boarding process of all airlines, has the least amount of service offered in-flight, and has the highest percentage of screaming babies and inexperienced travelers.
So why do people love Southwest? Simple: they have been refreshingly honest about what they offer, so our expectations are always met.
Grit your teeth and ask: in what ways can you be refreshingly honest with your customers?