“Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.”~ Steve Jobs
This quote was from a couple of decades ago, but it is true today as ever partly because there’s so much digital noise happening and people are getting very overwhelmed with lots of different marketing messages. It’s hard for you to stand out. The way you stand out is to build trust with people. There’s a level of trust and familiarity that they gain when you are clear about who you are.
Research shows that trust is consistently a top factor in purchasing decisions, especially in-home services. And this makes sense because they are spending a bunch of money with you and they need to know that you are trustworthy in doing what you say you will do. Building trust separates you from the competition because it is really hard to cheat on trust. And informed consumers have been burned enough in the past that they can sniff out disingenuous promises and they look for real substance.
Any company can quickly decrease its prices to get a job, but it is impossible to quickly increase trust. It takes time. If you’ve built a company over a number of years and you have built trust with your customers, promoting this in your marketing has to be a key part of your strategy. The problem is that most companies don’t do a great job communicating their trustworthiness.
So how do you do this? You need to help the customer understand the answer to two questions: “What value do I get” and “What is the likelihood that I will receive this value”. The first question is about product benefits including what they will pay for that benefit. The second question is about trust. Another way to say that it is the first question has to do with value. And the second question has to do with values.
Thinking through the following 8 principles will help you answer these questions for customers and will help you promote trust in your marketing.
- People. Showing your team’s images (especially owners) helps in communicating that you are local and that you care and that you are real people that customers can call if there is an issue.
- Knowledge. By displaying product knowledge and expertise, you show that you value excellence and getting the job done right.
- Empathy. When you can connect with the customer in understanding their need, your marketing will stand out.
- Guarantees. Everyone has fears, when you can alleviate the fear of making a decision, you will have a much clearer marketing message.
- Customers. Customer testimonials and “social proof” helps a ton. Showing Google review stars is a good strategy here or possibly a customer quote.
- Results. Showing project work and case studies of overcoming difficulties in making sure a job was well done helps people trust that you are committed to getting the job done right. This is hard when there is limited space, however, one strategy would be to have a QR code that says, “See some of our recent projects”.
- History. Long-time in a community shows that you aren’t just going to go away and that you have a reputation.
- Branding. There is a reason that big companies spend a ton of their marketing budget on branding. It’s because people do trust brands. This puts a very high priority on brand consistency on your marketing in terms of your corporate image — especially logos, fonts, and colors.