Trust is one of the key marketing trends of 2008
There is a prevailing smell of distrust these days. People distrust the government. And we’re in a political election year. People distrust big institutions. The price of gas is up. The mortgage industry is in an upheaval. Wall Street has beaten up investors of Citigroup, E-Trade, and Countrywide. Unemployment…sports legends on steroids…I could go on and on.
Consumers are looking for someone to trust
If you could pick one theme for 2008 to brand yourself or your company with, it’s trust. Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve says this:
“Our mindset is characterized by the Current DissedTrust; People continue to reject the “establishment” (government, commerce, religion, etc.) because they expect it to lie, cheat and abuse employees, communities and the environment. There will be rich rewards for any institution that can reach the bar of trust.”
What can your business do to earn people’s trust? FIVE things I suggest:
1) Use testimonials. Have a supply of testimonial letters ready, or include customer quotes in all of your marketing materials.
2) Join a professional association. It shows that you are accepted for measuring up to the standards of your profession. If you are already a member of a professional association, make sure your customers know, and that you participate in continuing education.
3) Meet your customers more often. As we continue to evolve into an email-driven society, it’s easy to lose touch. Frequently meeting customers face-to-face, and offering good service is one of the quickest ways to gain trust.
4) Add your address to your website. Do you ever go to a business website and can’t find their street address? How do you feel? What are they hiding? Are they going to rip me off? Doesn’t it make you suspicious? I know it does for me. Don’t do this to your customers.
5) Increase your opportunity for referral marketing. Join a BNI chapter, or another local business networking group. Referral marketing plays a big part of building trust.
Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.