In The Night After Christmas, Jonathan Salem Baskin waxes poetic about the excuses marketers will make when retailers realize their marketing efforts (especially their holiday sales) weren’t what they hoped for this year:
The marketing had failed, the sales not triumphant,
The guy sneaking away was the company’s consultant.
More rapid than eagles his course was quite plain,
A getaway with successful branding he would claim.
“Now Viral! now, Social! now, Awareness and Retention!
On, Creative! On, Catchy! on, seeking only mention!
The brand was made memorable, I won’t take the fall!
Didn’t they know it wasn’t supposed to sell at all?”
After getting past the fact that Baskin’s poem is better than the ditty I wrote for the Outsource Marketing Holiday ’08 card, I realized what he’s saying is what most business people assume about marketers:
We can’t be trusted.
It’s not just the fact that it’s our responsibility to persuade. From all corners of our society, we’re let down by people in sports, pop culture, government, business and religion.
We can’t trust our leaders—our heroes, even. Why would anyone trust someone in marketing?
Since 2006, the Edelman Trust Barometer has found a “person like yourself” is the most trusted person in the U.S. Not analysts, experts, educators or the government. People trust people that share their common interests.
I’ll be curious to see if this holds true in the 2008 Trust Barometer results released next month. I bet it will.
Since a “person like yourself” is who people trust most, it’s good to see social media is finally gaining acceptance and adoption by marketers.
Done right, social media can be a powerful tool to help build trust. Done poorly, it can have the immediate opposite effect.
Obviously, there are other things marketers can do, and we’ll tackle those next week.
It’s time to raise our game, folks. Marketers face a crisis of consumer confidence, and we have a lot to prove.
So, what do you believe marketers can do to help gain the trust of consumers?
Comment below to weigh in.