Chapter 18 This is Marketing
Trust is as Scarce as attention
You see people talking about market affiliation. But what is it exactly?
The core of affiliation stands on peer to peer connection. And the internet thrives on affiliation. Affiliation is important as it builds connection which in turn builds trust but the forces which prefer monopoly or takeovers see affiliation as a threat so to avoid it, they spread distrust on channels and platforms we build our trust around. This distrust in the channels led us to not even give benefit of the doubt to the people who we look up to for leadership.
All this led us to a time where many are connected but only few are trusted.
LinkedIn is a good example to this. It has become such a big phenomena that you connect with a lot of people but you hardly interact with any, as in building that connection, the genuine trust.
Social media did that to us, where misinterpretation and misunderstandings led to fakes and rip-offs and ultimately distrust.
Marketers can do one of these three things. They can either Be Ignored, Sneak Around or be Trusted.
If you are being ignored then you are not seen. You are not gaining trust or even attention.
If you are sneaking around with some cheap tricks and are pretending to be something you are not, then you are just gaining attention and some fake trust, which will eventually fall apart.
That’s how fake stuff works, they might gain people’s attention but by pretending to be someone they are not, they are just ripping off people and losing that trust factor.
But if you are trusted, it’s one way to live a trouble free and nice life. And of course it is worth the investment.
Because a marketer who’s trusted earns enrollment. Enrollment gives them an opportunity for a promise that they can keep which helps them earn more trust and with this trust comes attention, where they can tell their story. Their story then earns them more enrollment, promise, trust and attention and the cycle goes on.
The bonus in here is if the story is relevant and resonates with people, then it would lead to word of mouth and peer to peer conversations, that is the heart of culture and affiliation.
The real change happens when people understand your perspective, where their identity, their status and their choices are in line with yours, where they know that what you are offering is what they want, that’s when you get the benefit, the benefit of the doubt that was present earlier.
And that’s how you build trust and change happens.
“We remember what you did long after we forget what you said”
- Seth Godin
When they say “Actions speak louder than words” that applies to marketing as well. Trust builds on action. Instead of spending a lot of time talking, marketers should focus their attention on doing.
When you are not talking, you are observing and focusing on your work, building that trust.
In our culture, fame helps you earn trust. Most of us can be famous to thousand people. But very few are famous to three hundred thousand people, and that’s what changes things because people who they trust have heard of you along with them.
Being famous to the right three hundred thousand is good enough. The goal isn’t to maximize your numbers, it is to be known by the smallest viable audience. The people that matter.
If a skincare brand that is trusted by good dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts, people would go for them instead of a brand that you have just heard of and have only a few unknown people as their audience.
Marketers need public relations more than publicity. Getting the word out, features, reviews etc. is publicity but the art of telling your story to the right people in the right way is establishing public relations.
As Fame earns trust, the best way to gain that affiliation is becoming famous. But the internet has given us all a platform where there are a lot of us who are becoming famous. There might come a time when everyone would be famous and this will fade but until then the trust and benefit of the doubt we accredit the famous with is quite valuable and worthy.