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Few could argue that the Internet, and the marketing strategies being used by online businesses, have changed the way people buy and sell. They have also resulted in shorter consumer attention spans, and made trust and credibility increasingly important elements of marketing.



Trust-based marketing, a concept first espoused by Dr. Glen R. Urban in Don’t Just Relate – Advocate!: A Blueprint for Profit in the Era of Customer Power (2004) is based on the theory that the best path to building consumer trust is by being honest and open.

The importance of trust in marketing

As online activities become automated, dispensing with the need for human interaction, many people find that doing business online has become impersonal. Online privacy concerns, identity theft and security breaches are just some of the issues Internet users are worried about when they transact online.

[alert type=”info”]Consequently the need to establish and build upon trust and credibility is important, if your business hopes to achieve its marketing objectives.[/alert]

Consumer Smarts

Most internet users nowadays are no longer novices to be seduced by big promises and flashing lights. They are looking beyond the email, website or logo, to find the people behind the business. They are asking important questions:

  • “Am I dealing with real people or a faceless website?”
  • “Who are the people behind the business?”
  • “Will these products work as advertised?”
  • “What do other people say about this business?”
  • “Are they genuinely concerned about serving my needs or is it all about ‘selling me’?”

These could be the questions running through the minds of your potential clients and customers when they first arrive at your website, open your email or are asked to take your call.

How do you build trust in an online environment?

The answer is simple, yet all too often overlooked: Add a human element, i.e. YOU! There are two really easy ways to do this:

1. Ensure that your website has an “About” section that doesn’t deliver a sales pitch, but instead demonstrates how your business can help solve your customers’ problems. Importantly though, it should also talk about the people behind the business – its directors and key staff, their relevant qualifications and experience.

2. Include video emails as part of your marketing strategy. When executed with integrity, email marketing is one of the most powerful communication channels that your business can use. We can show you how.  By using the jiveSYSTEMS platform for your video emails you can establish credibility and build trust by adding a little ‘you’ to your messages.

Text and graphics in emails might (or, increasingly, might not) get them read, but it’s only by including a video with YOU speaking to the recipients – in a tone and language that they understand – that will capture their attention and win their trust.

Regular video email communication

Online business relationships can flourish as you engage through a series of video emails to support any phone conversations. As your clients come to feel like they know you, they will become more receptive to your guidance.

Use a reliable video email system

An innovative, easy-to-use and reliable video email system is a valuable partner in building trust online. This is why we’ve made ours simple and fast — just click start, stop and send straight from your webcam.

[alert type=”success”]At jiveSYSTEMS we take care of the technical aspects so all you have to focus on is your marketing message (and we’ll help you with that too!).[/alert]

Keeping it real

Building trust online is all about keeping it real and engaging your audience while delivering information that they need or want.

Dr. Urban, who is Chairman of the MIT Center for Digital Business, continues to work on trust-based marketing on the internet and, in The Trust Imperative, tells us that “the shift to trust-based marketing may be more of a mandatory imperative than an optional opportunity”.

About the Author William Franco

Will is the Managing Director of jiveSYSTEMS and creator of the Digital Handshake™, a digital version of a time-proven tradition that turns tedious follow-up into a closing conversation. Will’s a hands-on guy, with a decade of experience enabling sales teams to leverage video. Will's an instant catalyst for positive change, once you get to know him, you’ll completely understand why.

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