Thursday, January 21, 2010

Marketing's Dueling Duality About Trust

Moved on from Cialdini's book on Influence and am now reading Seth Godin's Permission Marketing, which is a must read for everyone in marketing. There was an interesting point of overlap: Americas sensual overload on ads. Godin does a nice job explaining how this came about from the emergence of mass media and the rise and diminishing ROI of "interruption marketing."

What was interesting is that it is clear that modern society is overloaded with assaults of information. Cialdini argues that what sets us apart from animals is the ability to make order of all the info coming at us. But with such an overload, we are particularly susceptible to techniques that take advantage of our instinctual responses. We've taken order and created chaos. We took reason and created an environment where there is no time to reason. We've turned ourselves into animals.

Godin puts aside mass media and focuses on being different and learning to earn the trust of a few power users while Cialdini teaches ways to leverage instinctual response to get that initial trust (Godin relents that such sizzle and tricks are still necessary to spark initial interest).

Together they provide an interesting framework to capture and extend the attention and loyalty of customers.

However, it's interesting to note that preying on customer instincts conceptually undermines trust, but when done right is more of a sleight of hand. So being a great marketer means being both a trickster and a trusted advisor. A magician and a mentor. Interesting mix...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i like to reconcile the two by reminding myself that successful marketing (which is admittedly frequently accomplished through a deep understanding of metaphor, animal instincts, and the limbic brain) often puts fantastic products and services into the hands of the people who need/want/or would enjoy them most. Of course you could accuse me of rationalizing so that I can (at least attempt to) sleep peacefully at night...