Trust Based Marketing – A New Move towards Brand Building

What’s your company doing to better understand the customer as a means to gain his trust? How do customers perceive your marketing? It is increasingly important for businesses to build a bond and a relationship with a focus on TRUST with their stake holders like customers, employees, partners, etc. At the same time, the brand should maintain the trust which customers have showered upon it; should not indulge in any doings, which compromises the trust factor.

Have you ever heard about Trust based marketing? It is not a new concept. It simply means that the customer trusts a particular brand, feels safe & happy with the brand and can talk about this brand proudly. Studies show that trust-based companies have higher customer retention and more stable revenue streams. The prediction is that eventually, trust-based businesses will have higher sales volumes and lower marketing costs than companies that survive on push-based marketing strategies.

Some of the invaluable features of this novel approach are:

  • Value – A brand must ensure that it is really adding value to a customer’s life. The more value you provide, the more trust you build. Most marketing and sales efforts focus on pushing your services and capabilities. This doesn’t build trust; in fact, it turns the prospect off.
  • Permission based & Non-intrusive – Are you really reaching out to new people or just annoying them? Brand should not be disturbing or intrusive to customer life. It may reach out to its audience based on personal attributes but should not get into personal life.
  • Transparency – There should be open and frank communication. Customer should not get unpleasant surprises.
  • Cost – Customer generally feel cheated if they find they paid a lot for it. Brand should ensure that they make them understand why they are paying this extra and make them comfortable about it.
  • Communication – Recently, a study was done asking customers if they preferred a reply by email, phone, or fax. A significant portion selected phone, despite their obvious access to the Internet. This shows that quick and complete communication is key. It should be easy for the customer to communicate with the brand.
  • Environment friendly – It is an additional responsibility on brands. Brands should go extra miles and share how they would care for the environment using the power which customers are giving them.
  • Accountable – Every employee in the organization should be ready to accept his mistake in case a customer has a bad experience with the brand. There should be immediate steps taken to set it right.
  • Easily Accessible – A brand should be very easily accessible through any mode of communication which the customer prefers.
  • Long term vision – Brand must have long-term vision & should not get into P& L or growth hacking mode for investors.
  • Customers’ Loss – Warn your customers of the cost of inaction. If you provide something of genuine value to customers then you have a moral duty to summarize exactly what they lose out on through inaction.
  • Content – Build your marketing approach on valuable content powered by the principles of trustworthiness and you will be well on your way to a strong brand,

Building trust is like taking a series of baby steps. It happens with time, but once there is trust the next steps become very smooth. At the same time, trust is fragile. Customers are understandably wary so pushing too much can turn out to be risky!

Thus, the simple truth behind trust-based marketing is obvious – being trustworthy! Like it is said, “Play nice and you will make friends”.

 

Why Referral Marketing can be Spectacular for your Business?

Referral marketing, sometimes also called as word-of-mouth marketing, is people purchasing products based on someone else’s opinion or influence. Study after study has proven that referral marketing is one of the best forms of marketing when it comes to sales.

It’s a powerful marketing channel because people trust the opinions of other people in their lives and people they respect, whether that is family, friends, social media or celebrities. It makes sense, as we regularly get advice from our friends about which TV shows or movies to watch, or restaurants to go to. Also, as end consumers ourselves, we want to share our stories about the products we buy and the brands we choose. This becomes magnified when the buying experience and products are exceptional.

Why is it so influential?

A customer referral program can in fact be strikingly profitable. When you have a fully functioning referral marketing strategy in function, you can predict approximately how many referrals you can expect and what quality they’ll likely be. At the same time, you won’t know exactly who you will be selling to or how large the order will be, but that’s true of almost all marketing techniques.

By pursuing referrals in an organized and structured way, the existing networks can be turned into active referral networks. Referrals offer significant advantages over cold-calling and direct marketing leads. For example, referrals are:

  1. Always more cost-effective and
  2. Referrals generally help in taking decisions quicker about purchasing
  3. Returning customers are likely to purchase more often
  4. Less negotiation or convincing is required
  5. They will be more willing to make further referrals

Talking about the Referral Effect

  • A study by HBR (Harvard Business Review) shows the extent to which referred customers are more profitable. The study was done on 10,000 accounts in a large German bank over a period of three years, and found that customers obtained through referrals are both more loyal and more valuable than other customers. After controlling factors such as age and gender, it was found that referred customers are, on average, about 18% more likely than others to stay with the bank. The study also projected that they generate 16% more in profits.
  • According to Nielsen92% of customers trusted referrals from people they knew;
  • According to a study carried by the Wharton School of Business, a referred customer has a 16% higher customer lifetime value. This means that referrals help you save more on acquisition costs and help you make more as they’ll be more loyal to your brand; and,
  • Referred clients tend to spend 13.2% more than a non-referred customer.

Boosting your business

Referral marketing is a powerful and important component for every business. Implementing some basic tactics can help encourage and facilitate the referral process, which can be a major source of new sales. It is rated continually as one of the most powerful modes of marketing. But why?

  • Targeting Referral and word-of-mouth marketing tend to be much more targeted because people tend to know their friends and social audiences pretty well. This allows your brand message to spread more effectively than with most other marketing channels.
  • Trust – Consider the last time a salesperson you know is on commission and tried to sell you something. You likely had doubts about his authenticity due to a lack of trust. With referral marketing though, the sales pitch is usually coming from someone who you either know well, like friends and family, or it’s coming from someone you have trust in, like your favourite new publication, blogger or writer.
  • Customers’ Reach – Earlier, average reach of a typical consumer was limited. As most part of it was restricted to the number of people they met or talked to on the phone. Today, though, it is much larger and with strong social followings, it can be enormous. Some consumers now have the power to make or break a business by what they say about it online. With a simple Facebook post and Twitter tweet, the average consumer can now reach hundreds in a matter of seconds. That kind of social reach is definitely a critical reason to why referral marketing has only gotten bigger over the years.

Referral marketing may seem a bit messy and random to those who’ve been trained to call a list of names in hopes of selling to one in 100. But it’s a system that works well because it flushes out all those unpredictable, hidden, complex connections that exist between people in everyday life and in business.

The procedures and results of referral marketing are not as easy to measure as cold-calling. Therefore, big companies stick to the old ways when training their sales staff. Hopefully, someday, people in corporate settings adopt this system. In the meantime, it is surely working wonders for start-ups and upcoming businesses that are leading the way with this networking technique.

Brand Awareness – Need of the Hour

What comes to your mind when you see the golden-yellow coloured ‘M’? Or while you are out for shopping and feel hungry and see a picture of pizza? Isn’t it MacDonald’s and Dominos? That’s brand awareness.

Having a unique and memorable brand helps you build brand awareness and create a long-term relationship with your customers and a lasting position in the marketplace. The brand is what gives life and personality to your company, and this will be the first contact point for most potential customers. Therefore, your brand has to be likeable, engaging, and interesting.

Why is Brand Awareness required and so increasingly important?

Brand awareness plays a huge part in the success of brands. The higher rate of brand awareness equates to higher sales. There is no magic set of rules or a formula that you can use to do this, but there are certain steps that you can be aware of that will make your brand recognizable. The significance of brand awareness is that consumers include it in their decision-making process while purchasing a product.

The importance of brand awareness has become increasingly significant with the evolution of the Internet and digital technology. The public is more equipped with mobile and social media tools to communicate quickly about your brand – good or bad. This means that establishing a strong reputation for good products or services, and reliability in your business practices is even more vital for long-term success.

When is it required?

Creating brand awareness is usually the first step; before you can create a favorable impression or motivate customers to buy, they have to become aware of your brand and its meaning. It helps drive traffic to your business simultaneously creating a buzz in the market.

Top of the Mind

This is when customers think of you first when they need to make a purchase within your product category. You can build top of the mind awareness through repeated exposure and consistent delivery of a good product and services.

SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) are smart solutions for getting your brand seen on Google. With targeted keyword research, you could be showing up at the top of Google for relevant searches.

Website

An informative and well-planned website helps create a worldwide customer base. Today’s customer is no longer limited to buying a product or service from a shop or mall; they might research about it over the internet and then decide about buying it or not.

Content Marketing

This is a very key marketing tactic in which a company creates and distributes informative and engaging content like blogs, updates on Social Media, communicating with present and potential customers through e-mailers and much more.

Whilst there is no quick fix for becoming a household name but once armed with the combination of techniques like – Internet Marketing, intelligent usage of Social Media Platforms, consistency in the services provided – the effects of a strong brand on your business will become clear.