Posts tagged ‘trust’
A very worthwhile post on Marketing Sherpa about third party lists appeared recently. Adam T. Sutton rightly points out that most business rely heavily on them, and shouldn’t. He also reiterates Brad Bortone’s wise words:
…effective email marketing is based on relationships. These relationships hinge on expectations, promises, and trust.
In truth, third party email lists are a piece of the puzzle, and they’re sometimes appropriate. But the core of marketing is establishing trusted relationships. Which is why, most of the time, you’re better off investing in your own database.
When you do use a third party list, the hardest nut to crack is profiling. A lot of marketers profile based on description (“he’s an engineer, works for a 8 billion dollar company”). Instead, you need to profile their persona – find out the problem they want to solve. Knowing their company’s annual revenue won’t get you closer to a sale.
With the right persona, you can gradually increase the relevance of your communications to the people on the third party lists, until they begin to trust you.
Until then, they’re just another name on a list.
Yesterday’s Duct Tape Marketing Blog had the results of a reader’s poll. John Jantsch’s observation on referrals:
What’s the number one consideration you make when giving a referral?
I had a list of 5-6 answers for people to choose from but “I trust they will do a good job” came in with 66% and “they provided me with a great experience” gobbled up the rest. Trust is always the most significant factor in a person’s willingness to refer, but a great experience is what gets them talking – you’ve got to have both.
Says it all. Build trust, and provide a great experience!
Jason Falls’s concern illuminates the problem with our short-term business ethos. Companies are under pressure to boost their stock prices and sales figures each quarter. Individuals are driven by the same short-term intention. The relationships that result are all started for the purpose of short-term gain, with the single transaction the only justification for participation.
Little wonder people are turned off. They’re not dumb. But then Jason asks:
If we act, though, not as marketers, but as members of the community, network or environment in which we’re participating with the audience, do we chip away at that mistrust?
The answer is yes. In fact, companies can and should not just be participants, but facilitators in a community. To name just three, Intel, Adobe and National Semiconductor are known for hosting vibrant online support communities. By enabling continual discussions not just between them and users, but also user-to-user, they’re building their customers’ trust.
To move from activity-based to community-based marketing is to gain customers’ trust. Instead of trying to control the conversation, and push your idea out, you let the users control the conversation, learn from each other, and in many cases, take themselves through the sales process. A frightening thought to control freaks, but the companies that practice community-based marketing are earning trust, building long-term relationships, and yes, making sales.