What are the brands you patronize and continually purchase? I’ll bet they are brands you respect and trust. Creative advertisements can get your attention, but if the brand generates unsubstantiated claims, their trust is lost. How many brands do you support and purchase that you do not trust?
Marketing is about winning over customers. If you accept this objective and goal then stop and think about your marketing activities. Is strategy based upon outlandish hype, sizzle, and claims, or are you really understanding your target audience and developing communications and establishing engagement to build relationships and win trust? Fewer than 25% of U.S. online consumers trust ads in print publications, and the numbers are even worse for digital media. (Source) 84 percent of millennials not only don’t like traditional advertising, but even more importantly, they don’t trust it. (Source)
Trust-based marketing focuses on customer advocacy tactics that help the target audience make informed purchase decisions based on knowledge of marketplace options and objective advice.
Now I am not saying that creativity does not play an imperative role in marketing. Creativity is paramount. But creativity aimed at trust is much more productive and rewarding than Super Bowl – like sensationalism. People have a great appetite for relationships with entities they understand and trust. Brands need to have empathy and understand this emotion in order to win the heart and minds of consumers.
So how do you build trust? Here are ten ways …
1. Develop marketing activities that aim to win the relationship. Not win the sale. If you succeed in winning a strong relationship, you will not only win the sale, but win an advocate as well.
2. Make promises you can and WILL keep.
3. Work to get your clients and customers to vouch for you.
4. Consider corporate social responsibility and adopt a cause.
5. Commit to and develop clear and straightforward content. Include facts and customer anecdotes.
6. Allow customers to post reviews and don’t vet the reviews.
7. When you make errors, be honest and admit your mistake.
8. Develop, maintain, and demonstrate your brand personality. Highlight people behind the scenes.
9. Promote earned media that validates your brand.
10. Respond promptly to questions directed to you and those that mention your brand in social spaces and digital spaces.
If you do all these things first and foremost, then sprinkle some creative dust on top of your operations. Far too often, brands start with a creative direction and go from there. Then end up producing something that is aesthetically impressive, but lacks brand realism and is disjointed from the brand personality. Work your trust issues first. I guarantee you will see winning marketing results.
Make It Happen!