Marketing…it's All a Question of Trust!
With the many billions spent annually on Marketing Communications, the TV programme
fakery together with the phone in scandals means that most of this colossal expenditure is
wasted because of a very serious issue, a declining lack of trust on behalf of your
And all the advertising in the world can't help you if you don't have trust.
The BBC and the commercial networks are not the only
organisations that have suffered a breakdown in trust recently.
Northern Rock, GMTV, Mattel, Bernard Matthews and Cadbury Schweppes have all,
recently, be weighed in the balance and found wanting. Levels of trust
in the West are in long-term decline, authority is something to be
challenged. So how have we come to this state? Perhaps it all started
as stores and communities grew larger and the personal bonds of trust and
loyalty that used to be enjoyed by the local trader who knew his customers wants
and needs, disappeared. In today's marketplace, time, attention and
trust seem to have become the scarcest resources and companies that fail to
recognise this fact are bound to suffer problems. As a result it is becoming
more and more important to ensure that there is a strong what's in it for me'
appeal to the consumer. With so many demands on their time they will
only spend quality time with those products and services that are clearly
offering them something of direct personal relevance and value.
Research published recently by Beyond Philosophy, a UK company specialising in
customer attitudes, claims 82 per cent of people never believe their experience
of an organisation will match the image promoted by television advertising.
Beyond Philosophy concludes that television advertising may actually be harming,
rather than enhancing, companies' relationships with their customers.
Similarly, research by the Henley Centre has shown that while nine out of ten
people will trust their spouse or partner and eight out of ten their children,
fewer than a third (27%) trust retailers or manufacturers, while just 14% trust
either the government or advertisers! Marketing appears to have
cottoned on to the fact that apparent intimacy enhances trustworthiness. There's no
denying that for business, being seen to be your trusted intimate pays.
There has been a loosening of emotional ties between business and society.
Indeed with the growth of new technology most transactions with consumers are
with faceless entities be it banking, our grocer or our car insurer.
In the past we did business with people you knew,
so trust was given in the interactions. In to day's world you have to
assume you can trust your bank it counts on a leap of faith that wasn't there
before. Only one form of communication can help overcome this lack of
trust that of interactive communication. Current conventional mass
media are weak conductors of knowledge and comprehension. This is because of a
number of factors, however the main reason is; they are non-interactive
communications vehicles, in other words conversations' cannot take place.
Interaction can be defined simply as straightforward
communication between two parties. Presently we are in danger of losing the real
meaning of interaction, as we tend to focus discussions on the emerging
technologies and neglect the communication process itself. With an understanding
of the real meaning of Interactive Communication, existing media can be made
interactive, and subsequently far more cost effective. Communication
research shows that interaction raises a communication's learning
effectiveness. Interactive communication, properly executed has none of
the woolly theorising that lies behind the arguments about various forms of
so-called interactive communication using direct
and electronic media (most of which involves at best the
minimum of true interactivity). It is also practical, down-to-earth,
and uses a readily comprehensible and verified mechanism to expand the relevance
and salience of advertising and other forms of marketing communications. It can
be applied to all major media and to various other forms of communication,
including new media. Trust absolutely sells, hence the urgent need to
understand and then implement interactive programmes. With interactive
communication you can go a long way to creating, and maintaining, a trusting
customer. Remember, trust is an end product, it is the consequence of other
things you cannot mandate it, you have to earn it and you earn it with a
rigorous understanding of, and then implementation, of interactive communication