The hard truth is that in today’s world, nothing scandalous can slip by unnoticed, meaning it’s simply not profitable to continue bad practices that damage trust, especially the trustworthiness of your marketing message.
In contrast, aligning all your efforts to serve customers as best as possible can have a massive impact on reviving the reputation of entire industries, with your company at the forefront.
Trust is built over time. Use that time to obsess over customers, not competition. Provide the best possible value and you will reap the reward!
We all have brands we trust. When we believe in certain businesses, we are biased towards them, for one reason or another. Think about why you associate LL Bean shoes with quality. Do you shop with Amazon for its unmatched customer service?
Be advised that trust is especially important in ecommerce. Online banking is insecure enough already. People need to at least feel safe that the money and product exchange is going to happen without a hitch.
What Is Relationship Marketing and Why Is It Important?
Building and maintaining a trusted relationship with a customer is an important consideration in marketing. Knowing the customer’s needs and quantifying their buying patterns has immense value.
This is what customer relationship marketing explores and what customer relationship management (CRM) derives insights from in particular.
Using feedback from the customers and keeping a hefty sales database will serve to nurture a strong connection with existing and potential customers. There is a plethora of dedicated CRM automation software for this purpose.
Feedback can provide powerful insights into the preferences and buying patterns of customers. A company can then leverage this data to improve its processes or products, ultimately strengthening long-term loyalty with customers, which in turn increases the trustworthiness of your marketing message.
Furthermore, for businesses with larger, high-spending customers, CRM is a stand-alone activity. It requires a dedicated person who focuses specifically on a single or a few clients at a time. The dedicated employee should not only address customers’ issues, but also know the underlying profile, their interests, and more. In such cases, good customer relationships can immensely boost word-of-mouth referrals and establish a long-lasting affiliation.
Why Is Ethics an Important Consideration in Marketing Decisions?
We can’t mention building trust without talking about business ethics. This applies especially to marketing.
Take the example of Theranos. A company that the SEC deemed to have abused the public trust by making “false and exaggerated statements about its technology and performance.” In other words, the marketing team went too far. But not only that, the base concept of the promoted technology was bogus from the start, and this kind of malicious practice goes hand-in-hand with unethical marketing practices.
At its core, marketing can be viewed as an art of reach and persuasion. Among other things, marketing techniques (1) create a need that can only be relieved through purchase and (2) convince people to choose your product over that of your competition. Considering how much money there is to be made with large markets, it’s no wonder that we’re seeing large-scale scams all around.
Theranos is a case-in-point of how poor of a path this is because your reputation will be forever tarnished after one seemingly-minor mistake. Meaning your marketing message has now lost all trustworthiness!
Alternatively, the other side of the business ethics spectrum can also be used as a marketing advantage. More and more people are actively voting with their wallets, thus sending a clear message.
Today, it’s the people who are addressing global issues:
- Labor exploitation
- Climate change
- Genetic modification practices
Use this to your advantage!
Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble put it best, “We’re seeing more of an emphasis on brands building emotional relationships with consumers because it’s powerful and it works. When you do it, you have a much stronger affinity, a much stronger business, much stronger growth, and much stronger results.”
Companies that adopt good social responsibility practices can see the effects it has on customer loyalty and promotion through word-of-mouth referrals. These practices can be applied to everything, from recyclable packaging to charity donations, even sourcing core production materials from reputable vendors.
Customers now see how much a company cares about random people, animals, plants, and even the globe itself. This benefits the company because people begin to trust that the company will surely treat their customers with care.
This goes hand-in-hand with transparency. A business practice that is incompatible with bad ethical decisions means they will always treat customers well. Aligning corporate responsibility with transparency and branding is a winning combination.
For companies in very competitive markets, reputation is more valuable than gold!
A Brilliant Marketing Solution for Your Small Business
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