Why trust is broken? Largely because of marketing, said Brice Bay, CEO of Enveritas Group, speaking last week at AdTech London. He explains how ‘brands overpromise and under deliver every day’ thus creating distrust and a gap in people expectation.
But what has enabled to expose the wrongdoings of companies such widely today is the democratisation of digital technologies. The latest VW scandal, for example, is a big challenge that the car manufacturer will struggle to regain trust in the marketplace but for others the lack of trust is creating huge opportunities.
Do you remember life before Amazon, TripAdvisor or Expedia? How did you know if a book was as good as the critics claimed it was? How did you choose the best hotel in Cancun to visit the city? And how did you find the best deals for your 3-week South East Asia trip?
There were very few reviews or comparisons sites to check if what was being sold was what it said on the tin! Only the most committed people would spend ages to dig in the brochures to find the best possible deal.
Then came along smart entrepreneurs who spotted an opportunity to provide consumers an easy way to find out what others are saying about the product or service of their interest rather than relying solely on the promotional blurb of the company.
Today, there is a whole marketplace for people to compare information and make up their mind. The moment when the consumer is searching for information online to make a decision has been coined the Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT for short. It’s the precise moment when someone has a need, a question or an intent they want answered online.
Search has transformed consumers’ behaviour, the CEO of EVG says. We inform our decision based on our own investigations.
Consumers are becoming ‘pro-sumers’ and are determined to play their part.
They care deeply about feedback and what other people say. Bay explains that this is how Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has based his entire business model around reviews, where people can take their own decision based on what other users say or not.
Amazon started with books to test the market before extending the offer to saturate the marketplace with other items people want.
TripAdvisor used the same strategy to allow travellers to compare and book easily what they needed to create their perfect trip at the best possible cost.
These companies and others have built multibillion dollar empires by riding on the lack of consumers’ trust in traditional businesses. They reduce the consumer’s anxiety and make it super easy for them to get the best possible deal for what they want.
All they have to focus on is content, says Bay. They check that the content matches the offer and empower their customers to rate them accordingly and flag the fraudsters.
Good quality content needs to be available for each product or service ahead of the decision of a consumer. Because once he or she lands on a webpage, the viewer only has a fraction of time to decide whether the information in front of them is relevant to their search.
Here are my 7 takeaways from the EVG’s boss to increase trust in your organisation:
#1. Time is the number 1 asset for the consumer. To spot new business opportunities think about the time starved consumer and the ways you can ease his or her life
#2. Ask for feedback and don’t be afraid of customers’ reviews. Consider negative reviews as an opportunity to improve your product or service
#3. Make the change before there is a crisis. Monitor where the trends are moving
#4. Apply the ZMOT across all your channels. Not just on social media which is only a touchpoint among many others.
#5. Enlightened executives can accelerate progress. Show them where things are moving and get them on-board
#6. Offer great content and recognise the Importance of truth, authenticity, and unique experience
#7. Exploit the gap in trust. Where do you see that consumers trust is being eroded in your industry?
Have you spotted a lack of trust in an industry? What can be done to close that gap and provide a new offering that will delight consumers? I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.