Welcome to the second episode of the CMO Soapbox, the video series in which Springbox Managing Director John Ellett interviews top CMOs and marketing thought leaders. In this episode, John catches up with Lytics CMO Darren Guarnaccia at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference to discuss trust-based marketing and how it can help marketers avoid deploying “weapons of mass irritation.”
Darren was at Gartner to give a presentation on trust-based marketing. In this media culture, with so many different touchpoints and channels, disorganized marketing can barrage customers with unwanted touches. Customers want to engage with brands that bring a personal approach. That’s what Lytics helps them do, by integrating the wide array of marketing tools currently in use. By partnering with Springbox’s demand generation team, Lytics can now take their message of trust-based marketing to the world. Hear what Darren has to say about it in his own words.
(Video Transcript Below)
John: Well, Darren welcome to the CMO SoapBox. We're here at the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference, where you had a wonderful presentation this morning on trust-based marketing. Why is trust so important to marketers?
Darren: That's a great question, John. You know, as I've been doing my research and talking to customers and even Gartner analysts, one of the things that came up again and again and again and that is in our search to try to do personalization and understand customers — really the root cause behind all of this is trying to incur trust with our customers. We want to have longer relationships with our customers — we want them to do more business with us, but sadly, a lot of marketing practices are really eroding trust. And so the point of trust-based marketing is to actually start to intentionally build and earn trust with our customers, so they will actually want to listen to what we have to say.
John: What are marketers doing to diminish trust?
Darren: Boy. I call it weapons of mass irritation. If you think about what most marketing teams are doing today, it's really about, you know, turning up the volume knob on all the normal tactics, right? Every year your numbers go up — we are chasing numbers in marketing — and the problem is that your only tactic is to either, you know, throw more money at a smaller set of people or spend more money and get a wider audience. Either way, you are pounding these people with messages they never asked for, and you're telling them stuff they don't really care about. And that's really eroding trust.
John: What are cherished brands doing to build trust?
Darren: Well, the first thing is they're acting in service of the customer. They're getting to know their customer to serve them, and that's a subtle point, but it's important because if you're putting the customer's interests first — you're taking the time to understand what their purpose is, what their goal, what their outcome is — then everything you do in your communication is to serve them. I think the other half of that is about being intentional in doing the right thing, you know, doing things that they want you to do, and then doing it well — doing it well in terms of being competent. And what I mean is, if I were to meet you every day and you couldn't bother to remember my name, I'm starting to think either you are totally incompetent or you don't care. Either way, it's bad, So what marketers have gotta be able to do is actually act in that competent way that also expresses that I'm doing things in aid of you and for your benefit. And that's what cherished brands are doing.
John: Can brands architect a path to being more trustworthy?
Darren: They can, they can. It really starts with, again, that intentionality of really thinking and architecting, engineering, if you will, trust into every encounter. So you start with, "How do I create value back? What do I need to know about you as a customer, your purpose? How would I learn about you enough so I can learn what's the purpose that I need to serve you?" I lead with that, and that happens to value exchange. I'm doing things for you and benefit of you. The second thing is creating transparency. I'm showing you through action, word and deed that what I do is in aid of you, and to your benefit, and then the last one is this reliability concept. You're creating reliability in everything I do with you because I'm paying off on the promises I've made to you. I'm doing what I said I would do. And I'm honestly listening to you, I'm learning about you to serve you and help you, and I'm doing that in this very consistent, almost coherent, conversational way.
John: It seems like companies that treat their customers as if they know them are better off, and consumers like to deal with companies that know them by name. They go to church, right? Everybody knows my name. What's the role of technology in a customer data platform in helping create that personal engagement between a brand and a consumer?
Darren: It's a great question. Competence. It's about competence. I have to remember you. I have to be able to talk to you in that consistent, coherent way everywhere we meet. Again, if I meet you on a mobile lab, if I meet you on your website, if I meet you in an email, if I call you in a call center, that coherence of conversation, the continuity of that conversation is important. I have to remember you, I have to recognize you.
And again, I treat you like a human being so that I'm moving the needle, I'm moving the puck down the field and you're listening, and feeling like I'm understood and I'm heard. And that's important, and that's how humans interact. And unfortunately with fragmented marketing and disconnected systems, it's not coherent, it's incoherent. And it's disruptive and disconnective, and again, you feel like the brand doesn't care or they're incompetent.
John: Well, it seems like brands today are easy to be schizophrenic. You know, they engage customers in different ways on different devices because they think they're all different people and it's actually that same person, and you've got a solution to help with that pervasive problem. You know, almost every brand that we talk with has this issue, trying to figure how do we better engage with our customers as individuals. How hard is it to implement this kind of a solution?
Darren: The technology is never the problem. I've always talked about the fact that technology is just a small piece of it. It's more to do with people and process. Yes, you need to integrate all your data, but modern technology, CDPs particularly, have hundreds of connectors that plug into your existing tools already. So getting the actual integrations done is not the hard part, it's getting the organizational design, making sure people are compensated in a way that aligns to a cross-functional team, thinking in cross-functional ways, thinking about user journeys in a way that is about the customer, what the customer wants to do versus how you and your team wants to work.
So, it is people, process, technology as always.
John: So if I'm the CMO of a brand that wants to have long-lasting customer relationships, and I'm frustrated with the silos that I'm dealing with in my own organization, and trying to stitch together more coherent conversations with customers, what three steps should they take tomorrow to make it a better world for them?
Darren: We believe that the first thing is you have to take an assessment. You have to think about where you are today, you know, where are you? We've actually created assessments for our customers to help plot you on what we call the trust-based marketing maturity curve. So I think the first thing is to look at where you're at today, what's your as-is situation, right? And I think you should look at that in terms of people, process, and technology. How connected are your systems? How much continuity do you have in your teams, in your process? How are those all working?
So once you figure out where you are, then you decide where do you wanna be, like how far up in trust-based marketing would you want to go? And then, start to do the work of organizing teams and making the changes in your technology stack, in your process, and in your people skills to actually get there.
John: You've been a great client partner. I wanna say thanks for helping bring us along on this journey for changing trust-based marketing into something that's a part of everybody's vocabulary, and things that they should be focused on. Appreciate you having me out here in San Diego.
John: All right.
Darren: Thanks for being here.