6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

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If you’re tired of trying to crank out endless marketing initiatives and manage the high costs of advertising in hopes of generating returns, you’re not alone. Marketers everywhere are struggling to keep up engagement with their audience.

But perhaps paid advertising isn’t where your focus should be. Here are six brands that used simple, even less-expensive methods to build consumer trust, which resulted in big gains.

1. Lexus Builds Trust Through Conversation

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

In 2011, Lexus Sweden was the first automaker in Europe to provide customers with a voice through the use of reviews and incorporated them into its overall marketing and branding strategy. Since then, Lexus has relied on reviews as a major component of creating and building consumer awareness. This has proven to be a successful strategy, with 99% of reviewers saying they would recommend the automaker to friends and family. Among those reviews, the average customer rating is 4.7 out of 5.

The Takeaway

Reviews work because they bring credibility to the brand and promote engagement within the domain of Lexus. Passionate customers become vocal brand ambassadors. That benefits both the brand and the resellers because Lexus can get a better idea about their customers’ needs and then act upon that feedback.

2. One King’s Lane Provides Value in Retargeting

A lot of brands are using retargeting to try to win back customers. One King’s Lane is among them, but the home décor brand developed a new approach. To increase ad spend efficiency, the company uses custom audiences to target those who have expressed interest in the brand. It then serves content recommendations from publications and sites like the New York Post, Vogue, and Apartment Therapy. The content typically provides a wealth of advice, including how to replicate home décor from popular designers. As a result, the cost per acquisition was cut by 50%, and conversion increased by 4x with a 1.5x increase in click-through rates.

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

The Takeaway

This is a smart campaign approach. Rather than simply retargeting customers with product ads in social media or other channels, One King’s Lane focuses on providing value. This builds trust and memorable experiences with the audience.

3. Burberry’s Art of the Trench

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

It might be surprising to hear that companies have been leveraging user-generated content well before social media skyrocketed to popularity. In 2009, Burberry launched a new website called “The Art of the Trench,” where users could share and comment on pictures of everyday people wearing products from the brand. Following the site’s launch, Burberry saw a 50% year over year increase in e-commerce sales.

The Takeaway

It’s important to know what interests your audience. Find ways to engage them that leverage their passions and interests. For Burberry, the website focused on fashion and style with real people, not models. Seeing a growing number real people enjoying a product creates trust, as well as heightened interest in the products and brand.

4. Target’s Education Pledge

In 2010, Target pledged $500 million to support education and later aimed to double its donation to $1 billion with a competition centered around students sharing their acceptance letters. The campaign involved customers submitting videos showing acceptance letters being opened. Target collected its favorite submissions to create a commercial, which was used to highlight and expand the visibility of Target’s philanthropy.

The Takeaway

The millennial generation wants more from companies: they want to be part of something that has real impact on the world, both at work and in their personal lives. Utilizing user-generated content presents Target in a way that’s more attractive to a younger generation, building trust through philanthropy and humanitarian efforts.

5. Coffee for Less Optimizes for Trust

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

The Coffee For Less company wanted to improve its organic visibility to increase conversions from the targeted traffic. Instead of aiming for general optimization, it upgraded the reviews and comments section of its products. This gave users the ability to easily submit reviews and share their comments with others. As a result, the number of comments grew by 6,000 within three years. According to MarketingSherpa, the comments and reviews on the Coffee For Less website generated a 10% lift in organic search traffic and a 125% boost in conversions.

The Takeaway

Nielsen research has shown that over 92% of consumers trust peer reviews over other forms of advertising. Turning those reviews into a source of organic visibility and traffic will establish trust before the customer even lands on your site. It’s an excellent way to leverage user-generated content and offer customers outlets for expressing their opinions.

6. McDonald’s Revitalizes in the UK

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

In 2005, McDonald’s was faced with diminished trust among its UK audience for a number of reasons, necessitating a revitalization of the brand. The changes included revamping the menu and décor, as well as other improvements based on consumer feedback. McDonald’s efforts also brought about a change in communication. There was no mainstream social media marketing at the time, so McDonald’s created a website that allowed consumers to ask any question and it would be answered honestly.

This direct engagement, something the company had never done before, paid off big and improved trust and interest in the brand. By the end of 2008, McDonald’s in the UK saw 11 consecutive quarters of growth, with sales growing by 8.5% in 2008.

The Takeaway

One of the best ways to improve trust is to consistently and transparently engage your audience. The channel you use to communicate is less important than the authenticity and sincerity of the message or response.

What are you doing in your marketing efforts to build consumer trust? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below:

Aaron AgiusAaron Agius is an experienced search, content, and social marketer. He has worked with some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands, including Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Target and others, to build their online presence. See more from Aaron at Louder Online, his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.


SEO for Growth


Marketing Podcast with Doug Burdett, John Jantsch & Phil Singleton

In my book SEO has risen beyond the tactic level to the strategic level – in fact, that’s precisely why I teamed up with SEO pro Phil Singleton to write a new book on the topic called SEO for Growth – The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers, and Entrepreneurs.

The word growth carries a strategic element to this topic and as you’ll hear in this episode I think basic SEO practices must become a part of planning, messaging, editorial decision making and even to some degree the products and services offered by a business.

For today’s show the microphone has been turned as the host for this week is Douglas Burdett, founder of Artillery Marketing and host of the Marketing Book Podcast. He interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and, for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, Doug interviews me and Phil Singleton, CEO of Kansas City SEO & Web Design. Phil and I are co-authors of SEO For Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs.

SEO for Growth is Your One-Stop Digital Marketing Guide. Marketing is no longer about mass-market advertising and outbound sales; it’s about capturing demand — grabbing the attention of people already looking to make a purchase or acquire specific knowledge. To do that, your content needs to be at the top of Internet search results and this book will explain it all.

Questions Doug asks Phil and me:

  • Tell us more about the quote in your book: “We have heard grown men cry when hearing that their website is absolutely useless…”
  • Can you explain why and how content is such an important part of SEO?
  • What should companies be looking for and what are the red flags that stand out when looking to outsource SEO?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How SEO has evolved over the years and what technical and non-technical “tweaks” you can make to optimize your website
  • Why keyword research, content and link-building are all critical components of SEO
  • How incorporating an SEO mindset can help simplify the process and make you realize that it’s all about “stuff you should be doing anyway”

Learn more about our guest host, Douglas Burdett, his company Artillery Marketing and his podcast The Marketing Book Podcast. Find out more about our book, SEO For Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs, see what top influencers are saying about it and take advantage of the free downloads hereSEO for Growth is also available on Amazon – just click HERE. My co-author, Phil Singleton, of Kansas City SEO & Web Design, is a self-described “SEO grunt” obsessed with tweaking websites for search engine optimization and functional performance. He is also a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant and co-author of the award-winning, Amazon best-seller “The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation”

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