The T Word

Someone recently asked a bunch of marketing pros in a online forum, “ your opinion, what is the purpose of marketing?” And as you might expect, the answers varied, but were pretty much centered around the idea of sales or making money for the company/org. (hey, not a bad thing for anyone).

My answer was different. I said trust (and of those hundreds of responses and comments, I was the only one who said that). Trust is a human emotion that is very difficult to understand and explain. It’s elusive and the rules don’t always make perfect sense. In fact, the feeling of trust is as unique as the individual experiencing it. But once you have it, you have a relationship with that audience member that can lead to many good things including of course, incoming $$$ for the particular company or organization.  

Generally, consumers (both b2b and b2c) do NOT trust marketing. And WHY would they? We have created a society where companies think it’s PERFECTLY fine to call, e-mail, text, interrupt and just bludgeon the customer or prospect over the head until they finally fall to their knees, give in and BUY something. I mean, that’s the plan, right? Wrong.  

I believe trust should be the fundamental goal of ALL marketing efforts and IF it was, you would see some tactical changes from these companies who are SO in love with tactics…often at the expense of strategy.

When a company or brand is trusted, you can:

1. Communicate more freely—Hey, you’re like a famished vampire and the human just opened the door saying COME ON IN! (Note: this invitation can be easily revoked).
2. Get more information from your audience about their real wants and needs—Trusted brands who listen to their customers can really bring in some fascinating data.
3. Make mistakes—It can happen to anyone—and having a bank account full of trust is SO important when occasionally you have to make a withdrawal.

When RobertsonComm works with clients, we design programs to attract audiences, be helpful to THEM and generate trust. The tactics of these programs can and do include: brand messaging redesign, creating great content, public relations, some influencer marketing as well as plenty of social media amplification and listening.

But we don’t just “do” tactics, we carefully figure out the best way to build trust and position our clients favorably to win—AND absolutely destroy any competitors (who by the way are busy “selling stuff” and have neglected the whole “build trust in the brand” thing). It’s really not even a fair fight.

Because once you have trust, everything else is just marketing.