Trust is the foundation for all business relationships, I am pretty sure no one will argue this thought.
The most common and effective form of building trust is usually the one-on one meeting between your sales team and the customers and prospects. In fact, for those that remember, this is how the tech business really established itself. The tech buyers would meet with a variety of sales people from various technology companies. They would be handed brochures and reports, sometimes even case studies. Most of the collateral was real techy, but the sales team would establish the trust through conversation and their ability to demonstrate their expertise.
So why am I talking about this. Because this doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Tech buyers are doing their own research ( most of it on-line) to scope out providers that can deliver the solutions they seek. The tech buyers have taken more control over how the relationship can start, leaving your sales team limited opportunity to establish this trust. In fact, now we have business decision makers also in the process that need to trust your technology solutions as well as your company. Again, with limited opportunity to actually meet with them on-on-one doesn’t usually occur until they are half way down the decision-making process.
This is where Tech marketing folks come in to the picture. With limited opportunities to have ono-on-one interactions with tech buyers, the marketing department needs to create the conversations and build trust through their marketing efforts. This is not easy and requires a dedicated strategy to nurture the prospects and reaffirm the customers against buying decisions. Messaging must address the targets business issues and be delivered in a transparent tone. I have said it before and will say it agin, Content is King. Your messaging must be relevant and include proof ponts to build your credibility.
Most importantly, the frequency of your marketing needs to be ramped up. More frequency is critical to ensure your tech company has a commanding market presence and is easily accessable during the tech buyers search.
This point is further supported by A recently released Edelman the 2010 Barometer Report. Not that all of the information is geared towards B2B or even technology, but it does have something quite useful for tech marketers. Based on their annual survey, the report suggests that 60% of those surveyed need to receive a companies message 3-5 times in order for the message to become trusted. Those surveyed also suggested when asked which stakeholder should be most important to a CEO’s business decisions, 52 percent said that “all stakeholders are equally important”
So what does this tell us about building trust on how marketing teams can influence it.
First, beyond the relevance of your content, the types of messages you build in your content need to come from different voices of your company, sales, marketing, your ceo, your tech experts etc..
Secondly, using multi-channel delivery can be very effective as long as you ensure you have frequency built into your plan.
Trust is something that is earned over time and common logic will tell you that frequent and consistent conversations with your prospects will allow you to build the trust you seek among your customer based.