A Surprisingly Simple Way To Build Trust Into Your Marketing Communications
There's a simple trick used by clever marketers, designers, product developers and tradespeople. Apple uses it. Mercedes uses it. My plumber uses it. And we love them for it. Consistency.
Why it matters
When what you’re saying doesn’t fit with what you do, you’re in trouble. No matter how hard you try, your audience won’t be convinced and won’t be loving you any time soon. Before your audience trust you enough to become your customer they need to relax. A relaxed customer is more likely to purchase your products or services.
Just Relax and Be My Customer
Grab their attention with incongruence – celebrate your irregularities and project your personality – Stand Out.
Grow their affection with congruence – be consistent in your message, actions and the medium of communication – Walk the Talk.
Before anything happens your audience needs to relate to you. Your message will need to be in a form that fits their way of seeing the World, their World View and of consuming information. We all consume in multiple forms but generally there’s a dominant one – text, image, video, audio. Customers who take in information through reading (like myself) prefer an eBook over watching an hour long video on the subject. A young Minecraft audience (my son & daughter) would rather watch an hour long DanTDM YouTube tutorial video than read the transcript. Merril prefers audio – she processes information by listening and talking.
Match the way you deliver your message through the medium to your audience.
Congruence – The Power of Consistency
While your appeal comes from your personality, earning the trust of your customer comes from being consistent in your marketing message and actions. This is where you need to be vigilant. Once your audience is in orbit around your brand, any mismatch between what you’re telling them and what you do puts them on alert.
While irregular branding can work really well, irregular behaviour signals danger.
When our actions are consistent with our message and the way we communicate, we provide security and reassurance and our audience can relax. It makes sense to them. Nothing out of the ordinary here. The Mailchimp Voice & Text style guide shows just how important consistency is in communicating with customers through support emails and calls. Because when things don’t quite match up, we have these active primeval survival mechanisms that kick in, we become suspicious, unsure and can’t relax. So be aware and monitor your own communications regularly. If you have a team doing this function then make sure you have some ground rules down to give them guidance. Consistency is also time dependent and takes a while to prove and demonstrate. Built up over time, though, any new arrival to your brand will see your history through articles, social media, insight from other audience members and testimonials from happy customers. This compresses things and makes the process from distant prospect to relaxed customer quicker.
How to Grab Attention
Once you have your consistency sorted, take hold of your audience’s valuable attention by doing things a little differently to your competitor – incongruence. Be unique. Use your own personality, quirks and irregularities.