Sunday, May 24, 2015

Impressions vs. Trustworthiness

In my belief, marketing is less about making big impressions, but more about taking simple, incremental steps to infer trust. This is specially true in B2B context where we deal with smart executives, who will easily spot inconsistencies of our marketing messages, if any. 

Integrity of our external communications is one of the most important aspects to build trustworthiness. Integrity shouldn't just exist only within our marketing pitches, but should be consistent across every activity we perform as an organization. It's then and only then, our outlook appears trustworthy to the potential customers. 

To elaborate this point, let's take an example:

Imagine you want to select a contractor to handover the construction work of your new house. Out of the 2 contractors you meet, the first talks only about building impressive skyscrapers. But when looked further into his work, you realize that he hasn't built any skyscraper but just houses. In contrast, the second contractor talks about the best practices of building great houses and explains the challenges using his previous related work. He does not spend time talking about skyscrapers but focuses on the problem you have in hand.

Now, which contractor would win this project from you? 

Most will agree that the second contractor appears more suitable. This is an important finding; we buy from vendors who are trust worthy, not from the vendors making impressions. Similarly when we sell, we should sell our services the same way we buy, i.e. by making our message to the market trustworthy.

Unfortunately, when we look at the marketing efforts of some organizations, we see them acting just as the first contractor. We might be knowledgable on skyscrapers, but if that is not related to our core business or to the customer expectations then we fail the first test of trustworthiness.