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The Trust Issue In Marketing


One of the prime motivating factors in the purchase decision making process is "trust". A consumer will at some point for however long or short of a time, ask the question, "Can I trust this company/person/product?"

In today's ever-changing world of marketing, electronic media, email, and advertising innovations and intrusions, companies, and businesses are marketing to an ever increasingly suspicious consumer, who is conflicted between their desire not to be "sold" to and their desire to consume. They are looking for ways to establish believability, credibility, and trust.

According to a paper by the Peppers and Rogers Group (2004), 36% of major U.S. corporations view privacy as an important part of the company's brand image.

It is my belief based on consumer thinking that one way to develop a competitive edge in the marketing world is to place greater emphasis on tying privacy policy to brand. This strategy places a direct link between trust and purchase while developing the beginnings of long-term relationship.

I suggest highlighting your privacy policy in all your marketing in a way that makes privacy, trust, and your brand synonymous. Let the consumer know that here is a business that will respect your privacy. Let them know that your communication with them will be relevant to their consumer needs. And you can let them know that information they share with your business will be used to better meet their needs and will not, knowingly be used against them, sold, or given to third parties.

It might even be smart to develop a short marketing campaign that focuses on your commitment to your customer's privacy, instead of simply stating that you have a privacy policy or stating your policy in unreadable font at the bottom of your literature.

About 50 % of consumers today have little more knowledge than brand or product recognition and have little desire to acquire extra information about a brand or product, so it behooves the marketing community to link recognition of their brand to trust, safety, and advocacy. Instead of selling to consumers, target your marketing to help them believe that you are making them safer and more secure by purchasing your brand and then back it up!

copyright 2004

Darrin Coe holds a masters degree in professional psychology specializing in consumer thinking. He publishes The Darrin Coe Ezine. You can subscribe at http://www.consumer-thinking.com/dcezine.html.

Visit Consumer Thinking.com at http://www.consumer-thinking.com.

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