Why we do it

Mark and John sat in the modern boardroom of the Barlo head office. Expensively furnished, with floor-to-ceiling glass vistas, the room enjoyed great views over the River Thames. John began…


The best way to win a new customer has always been “word of mouth” or, to put it another way, recommendation from a trusted source.

In a recent survey of purchasing managers, 83% cited trust as the number one consideration in placing business with a new supplier – “price, quality and delivery are important, but everyone offers that. To get our business you need us to trust you and then for that conviction to be proved deserved.”

Other research shows that 87% of people believe that companies lie or mislead people in their paid for marketing communications. Clearly the old style approach of shouting sales messages across all media platforms is not the answer, when most people will disregard them as unreliable.

If trust is the key, we need to create that trust and ethically exploit it. So the first question must be, in whom or what do we trust?

The answer is that we trust people and we trust reputations…

People whom we trust include our family, friends, colleagues, peers and to some extent our contemporaries. We also trust existing suppliers with whom we have a good relationship. These are the people we generally trust the most (depending on the subject) and whose opinions often have most influence upon us in our decision making.

We also trust people with whom we feel we have an affinity; who appear to have similar backgrounds, interests or needs to ourselves. Just look at the use of social media by people seeking out the opinions of other travellers, diners, or theatre goers in forming their opinions.

Research shows that, all things being equal, a brand recommended by a trusted person is three times more likely to get the business than any of its competitors. And that is true EVEN IF THE PERSON MAKING THE RECOMMENDATION HAS NEVER USED THEM THEMSELVES.

The reputations we trust include well known brands, independent reviewers, acknowledged experts and celebrities.
Your corporate values should be reflected in your brand so that people know about you. Brands are short hand for what you stand for and the appeal you have to the market.

As we have seen, trust is very, very high on the list of desired attributes from a new supplier relationship. If your brand is a trusted brand, then you are already half way there. Add a recommendation from a member of the decision maker’s network and you are in great shape to progress a deal.

This simple dynamic is the key to long term marketing success, and it is what we are pre-occupied with on behalf of our clients at REM.

So how do you go about creating these relationships? click here to find out.

If it’s not conversation, then it’s not really effective marketing…