Edelman PR consultancy recently released their annual Edelman Trust Barometer report. They surveyed over 36,000 people in 28 last November to gauge trust in institutions. A recent survey shows that people trust businesses more than NGOs, governments, and media.
Trust in most industries increased from the year before.
Source: Edelman Trust Barometer
You can build on this trust and use it to attract audiences and new customers.
What is trust?
The Grunig Relationship Instrument identifies three attributes of trust:
- Competence: The belief that an organization has the ability to do what it says it will do, including the extent to which an organization is seen as being effective, and that it can compete and survive in the marketplace;
- Integrity: The belief that an organization is fair and just;
- Dependability/reliability: The belief that an organization will do what it says it will do, that it acts consistently and dependably.
Instead of a LEAD SCORE, use a TRUST SCORE
Lead scoring is a concept marketing automation systems use to rate the sales readiness of a prospect. Points are obtained by opening and clicking emails, downloading PDFs, and visiting web pages. Once a point value is reached the lead is considered “marketing qualified” and passed on to sales.
The lead score is based on the outdated concept of pushing a lead down a marketing funnel. Once the lead has interacted with your marketing assets enough they are sent to sales to close.
Instead, marketers should focus on a Trust Score.
How to Earn Trust
- Have a well-designed website and marketing materials
- Create useful content that is focused on customer problems and needs
- Refer your audience to other companies that can address their needs
- Use trusted marketing channels
In a recent Marketing Sherpa survey, offline advertising channels such as newspapers, magazines, television, and direct mail are most trusted. Search engine ads are the most trusted digital advertising channel. This is likely because they are not interrupting and are directly relevant to what people are searching for. Digital ads are categorically the least trusted form of advertising.
How to Lose Trust
- Interruptive advertising
- Talking about yourself, your company, and what you do
- Popping up an email capture form seconds after a visitor lands on your website.
- Asking for a phone call immediately after connecting on LinkedIn
- Going for the sale too early in the relationship
- Going for the sale when you’re not a good fit
Your audience will be much more receptive to having a conversation once you’ve established trust.
How Trust Can Grow Your Business
Focus on how each email, web page, and lead generation form impacts the trust you need to build with your prospects. It is important
- Focus on being helpful.
- Discuss how to solve general customer problems that are not directly tied to your processes and services.
- Mix in how customers are helped by you
- When the time is right, ask for a conversation