Blogger, Tim Moore, wrote recently about the need to give up old school marketing and replace it with a new approach is based on understanding buyers as “prosumers.”
A prosumer is actively involved in researching and interacting with the companies from whom they will buy. They expect to find accurate, objective, and trustworthy information from every vendor. If they don’t find it, they will head off to evaluate someone else. Worse, they will probably never return.
Old-school marketers are uncomfortable with this concept. They are used to one-way marketing communication and a sales approach that talks at the customer rather than with the customer. That just doesn’t work anymore.
According to Tim, the Apple store is a perfect example of an environment in which prosumers are welcomed with open arms. This matches my own experience in which I was able to get honest and earnest answers to every question I had about a new iPhone. I had absolute trust in Apple and its people throughout the buying transaction. We probably all wish that the Apple store experience was replicated throughout the retail industry.
I think Tim is right on the money with his emphasis on the need to establish trust.
As he puts it:
Our goal is simple, sustainable profits and growth right? The only way, let me repeat that, the ONLY way for that to happen in your business in today’s climate is to build customer equity = trust, confidence in us, we care, NO hype, NO infomercial techniques, those are dead. Our customers, Prosumers, need to realize and see manifested in our business model that we don’t have a hidden agenda, help them to learn from their experience with us that they can trust us.
Tim also believes that the lack of trust results in a prohibitively high “trust tax” which can make a business completely uncompetitive:
In fact, most companies that remain in the status quo are finding they are paying a “trust tax”, a transaction (soon to be reaction) costs which can be up to 70% of the item, which destroys profit margin and will force companies into extinction if they remain unchanged in their methods.
Content Marketing: It’s all about trust!
In short, those companies that take the time and effort to establish trusted relationships with their prosumer buyers have the best chance of thriving throughout tough economic times, while their competitors, clinging to old-school ways, will be left by the side of the road.
You cannot create trusted relationships overnight. It will require a consistent effort over time to establish your self as a trustworthy company from whom prosumers will be eager to buy. So, you’d better get started with your trust-building content marketing right away.
Read Tim Moore’s Terrific 2 Part Article: