We’re living at a time when many people consider “trust” and “marketing” to be opposites. In a recent Hubspot survey about trust levels for different occupations, only 3% of people said that they trusted marketers (narrowly beating out car salesmen and lobbyists for the lowest slots). Consumers are used to being sold to, and they constantly have their guards up.
In this environment, marketers have to be empathetic, thoughtful, and obsessively customer-centric. It’s a hard job, but you do have one incredibly valuable ally: your existing customers.
In the latest webinar in our series for marketers, “Earn trust at scale: How to drive growth with People Powered Data,” VP of Account Based Marketing at 4C Insights, Josh Dreller, chats with our own VP of Product Marketing and Voice of Customer, Christine Rimer, about how to build trust with prospects, customers, and even your own team.
Read on for a recap of what we learned during the webinar. For the full story, sign up to watch the on-demand webinar.
Listen first to create messages that resonate
“Even with all of our best intentions as marketers, about 40% of content marketing campaigns fail,” says Christine. “But if we listen first, and get valuable feedback from the market, we can actually avoid most of those fails.”
In the earliest stages, Josh recommends using the market research as a sounding board for your concept testing, so that you’re being conscious of your customers’ time and resources. When you do come to them with an ask (like taking a survey) you want to be as clear as possible about what you’re looking for and the direction that you’re going.
Once you know more about the market opportunity that you’d like to address, you can go to your customers for proof points. In the webinar, Josh and Christine go into detail about the many benefits of listening to the market (beyond simply prepping for customer interactions), and present some strategies for doing so.
Establish credibility with the authentic voice of your customers
In our recent report on buyer trust, we discovered 82% of people trust the voice of the customer over brand or product messaging. People are much more likely to take the word of an objective third party than a brand. Josh’s company, 4C Insights, uses SurveyMonkey’s TechValidate solution to amplify his customers and earn trust.
“There’s a lot of noise in the advertising industry,” he says. “There are many different vendors who say they do similar things, so there’s a lot of valid skepticism in the market. Customer responses feel more authentic, more real, and hold more weight. That’s why our case study page is one of the most visited pages on our site.”
Christine points out that if you have a diverse customer base, it’s worth building out a diverse portfolio of testimonials, so that prospects can see their pain points reflected accurately and imagine themselves in the customer’s shoes.
Getting multiple perspectives can also help you get another valuable marketing asset: statistics. As Josh says, “It’s one thing to say ‘our customer saw success,’ but it’s another to be able to say ‘80% of our customers saw value in a few months.’ Statistics make your case for you, and create an easier sales process.”
Numbers don’t lie, and they can often make a powerful point about the quality of your product and the loyalty of your customers.
Make it a conversation—and keep something in it for your customers.
Customer-centricity means not asking for support without thinking about how you could serve your customers better. One way to do that is to make your request into a conversation.
Christine explains that it’s critical to systematically measure your customers’ satisfaction, and check in on what’s working for them and what isn’t. You need to be constantly working to ensure that your customers feel heard.
Ask them what made them choose your product, what they love, and what they’d like to see different—and when you have that information, make sure to pass it along to the teams who can do something with it, to show your customers that you’re really listening. As Josh succinctly puts it: “You better be prepared to take action, if you’re listening.”
Trust grows over time. In our report, only 9% of people said that they trust a brand when they first engage, but 67% feel trust by the time they return to buy again. If you’re thoughtful about the way that you engage with prospects and customers, take their feedback seriously and give them a voice, you’ll be well on your way to earning real trust.
Want to learn the how to put these principles into practice? Our on-demand webinar goes in-depth about how to win the trust of your prospects, customers, and internal team. Christine and Josh share behind-the-scenes looks at how they have handled trust-related challenges at 4C Insights and SurveyMonkey. You’ll also learn:
- Tips on how to get the most out of your market research
- The best tactics for amplifying customer testimonials
- How to use survey data strategically with other departments
- How to combine survey data with other systems for more comprehensive insights