Tuesday 2¢ – A Like is Nice, But Trust is a Must

In this week’s Tuesday 2 cents, I am back to talking about ART – Awareness., Revenue and Trust and you can probably guess from the title which I think is most important and how we should measure it..


As I may have shared a few times I have a marketing philosophy built around achieving three things for the companies and clients I work for; Awareness, Revenue and Trust that I call ART. Like your favorite three legged bar stool, a focus on each plays a role in keeping you from slipping up and spilling your Old Fashioned.

However, I have been asked about which is the most important and, like any good consultant worth his hourly rate, I say “it depends”. It depends on the nature of your business, your business goals and where your marketing is weakest, but all things being equal, I would say Trust makes a good case for itself as the more favored member of this trio.

Putting Trust at the start of my little acronym and calling it TAR doesn’t not sound as fun as creating ART and Trust is not the most glamorous of the three. Depending on who you are talking to in the C suite, Revenue or Awareness take that honor, but without Trust these are difficult to sustain.

But how often are we measured against a Trust based metric? Far more likely that marketing is measured against awareness or revenue, or some vanity metric that may make no sense to any of the three.

Does it really matter how many people that will never buy your product come to your website?

Chasing these vanity metrics of hits, follows and likes can undermine a deeper trust in your brand. You create a popular story, with popular content and a popular point of view. Like a fella at a party that agrees with everything might be instantly likable for an evening, but would you trust them enough to do business with them?

Or, as I have mentioned before, if I put a video of a cat playing piano on the homepage of your website – you’ll get a a LOT of likes. People might trust  you will show a good cat video, but would anyone trust your product or service?

Measuring vanity metrics is easy, the data is right there and on the surface it may appear that you have a trusted audience, but to truly measure trust you need to dig a little deeper and measure the activity only people who trust you would do.

From the simple things like them signing up to your newsletter, social sharing, share of voice or the domain authority of your blog, to the more commercial stuff like customer retention, Net Promoter Score (NPS), your client references and client satisfaction surveys – maybe even ask your colleagues and employees.

Some of this is easier for the big brands, there is a bigger dataset to work with, but depending on your business, there will always be ways to test, even a little bit, how trusted your messaging is (just ask someone!). The important thing is that you consider trust, find a metric and don’t get carried away with the vanity stuff.

Of course, if the content is relevant (and not a cat playing the piano), despite the title of this post, getting social likes could be a little part of that measurement mix; to a certain extent, people are not going to show their social media network that they like something if they don’t trust the company that posted it.

But… a like is nice, trust is a must.