Responsive Advertising Blog

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Johnson & Johnson. General Mills. Apple.

The world’s biggest brands have spent billions of dollars and decades building their image and earning your trust. Trust is the foundation of any business relationship and will give your customers the confidence to buy from you again and again.

Conventional wisdom suggests that trust can’t be won in a day. It’s earned over time with pleasant persistence. A time earned brand is worth every penny… just ask Polaroid. Circuit City. Borders. Blockbuster Video.

The traditional approach to earning a customers’ trust through gradual brand building is being blown out of the water. Startups like Netflix, Uber, Dollar Shave Club and Craft Breweries are erupting onto the scene, sucker punching titanic brands, and winning their customer’s trust instantly.

Entrepreneurs don’t have billions to spend or decades to wait. They need sales today to keep the lights on. Businesses of all sizes have lost patience for advertising that can’t be held accountable. At Marketing Architects, we’re a strict direct response advertising agency. If our ads don’t win a customer’s trust and drive immediate response, then it’s back to the drawing board.

The truth is, trust doesn’t always need to be earned. It can be won. Here are 5 secrets we’ve learned that can transform your strategy and allow you to rapidly win your prospects’ trust.

  1. Embrace Skepticism

    People are naturally skeptical and looking for an excuse to turn you out. If they don’t know you and your offer sounds too good to be true, your message will probably join the wall of advertising noise that they’ve been conditioned to ignore.

    Testing a message that addresses your audience’s skepticism head on is a great way to break down the walls of advertising. Remind them that they have every right to be skeptical. By doing that, you start relating to them rather than shouting at them. Speak to the ways they may have been burned in the past and make a point to distance yourself from those other companies.
  1. Feature an Authority Figure

    Audiences love a good breakthrough. They’re always looking for the next new thing to arrive and finally cure their woes once and for all. Cutting edge things are exciting but they don’t always carry the trust needed to get people to buy.

    Featuring an authority figure who is willing to endorse your product can go a long way in winning a customer’s trust. A relevant expert like a doctor for a medical device, an athlete for sporting equipment or a Nobel Prize winner for an online university can give you instant credibility and allow your audience to take their guard down and give you a try.
  1. Convey Confidence with an Impressive Offer

    “We’re so confident our product will work for you that we’ll let you try it free for 30 days!”

    If your customer knows that they can back out at any time with no strings attached, it can break down walls fast. In your early interactions, the word ‘try’ is better than ‘buy’. A compelling offer shows that you believe in your product and you’re willing to prove it works. Prospects are more willing to give you a shot when they have nothing to lose.
  1. Present Social Proof

    In the early days, find out if your best customers are willing to be testimonials for you. Even a small set of diverse voices can create the net impression that people everywhere are falling in love with your product. If your prospects can relate to your testimonials, they’ll often be more willing to try it themselves.

    As your business grows, start speaking to the sheer volume of customers you’ve helped. Your prospect will arrive at the conclusion that if the product has already worked for countless people, it should work for them too.
  1. Cement Your Credibility in Print

    A surprise is proven to grab an audience’s attention, and that’s why we saved a curveball for the number 1 secret. The first four secrets primarily focus on your communication strategy, but the number one slot actually takes a step back to look at the most trustworthy media channel.

    The channel that customers trust above all else is also the oldest. A recent Scarborough Research survey showed that consumers trust the advertising they see in newspapers more than any other medium. The adults surveyed were almost three times more likely to trust an ad they saw in the paper than an ad they saw on TV. Trust in the internet is higher than it’s ever been, the trend shows that consumer trust is rising every year, but the internet still doesn’t have the level of trust that traditional newspapers do.

Print ads also win trust in the presentation of their content. A print ad isn’t shackled by a strict time limit the way radio and TV are. It’s easier to take a step back in your messaging strategy to focus on giving your audience surprising, informative content rather than slamming them with selling. If your ad resonates with your audience, they can physically hold onto it. Your message literally stays with them longer, which flash forges trust.

There’s an added bonus of print advertising that we’ve seen over and over as part of an omni-channel strategy. The trust that you win by advertising in print lends more credibility and actually boosts the performance of your other channels. Seeing you in the paper first can make a prospect quicker to act when they see you online or on TV.

If you’d like to start winning the trust of new customers faster than you ever thought possible, we should talk. We have everything you need under one roof to launch advertising campaigns in print, radio and TV with the online optimization needed to get them working together.

Chuck Hengel

By Chuck Hengel

Founder & CEO

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