How to show your business is trusted: Like Minders
Getting people to trust your business is a vital part of marketing it. This is even more important if, like Georgie Jones, co-founder of childcare business Like Minders, your business has a personal element. With Like Minders shortly to launch a sister business, which focusses on elderly care, the founders have been looking back at the marketing strategies that have worked for them. Here's their advice for demonstrating trust in your business, and how to gain more customers through the trust of existing ones.
Working in the care industry has its specific challenges when it comes to marketing. Analysis of Like Minders, our childcare business, shows that almost half of our customers come to us via word of mouth, most often recommendations from our existing clients. As we launch our elderly care business, there is every reason to believe that customer acquisition will come about the same way. Fundamentally, with a service which is so personal, clients want to be as comfortable as possible that the service they use is experienced, safe and trusted. Asking your friends for recommendations goes a long way to establish that journey of trust. So how should a marketing strategy reflect that, and what can marketing do to nurture that sense of trust with potential customers?
The implication for a business which relies on word of mouth so much is that single marketing campaigns, such as advertising, in isolation will not deliver the return on investment that, say, basic product advertising would achieve. That is not to say that there isn’t a place for advertising - rather, it has to be part of something much bigger. As much as anything, traditional advertising either provides that initial introduction, which is then backed up by personal recommendation, or it acts as a reminder to someone already familiar with what you do.
Much of our marketing spend will often focus on what I would call micro-marketing - engaging your potential audience on a very local and often personal level. This could mean taking a promotional stand at a local fete, sponsoring school activities, marketing at local mother’s groups, offering promotional discount partnerships with local, independent businesses etc. All these types of initiatives aim to engage with that potential client on a personal level, helping to engender that feeling of trust and supporting the message of an experienced and capable service.
The local level marketing is supported by broader promotional activities, which act as a reminder to potential customers. As mentioned previously, that potential customer is on a journey and every stage of that journey should seek to build on that level of trust. There is not one single initiative which is going to gain you a customer overnight. There is a place for various types of traditional and online advertising and indeed platforms such as Facebook can be a very good way of reaching out to a very defined audience. Of course, getting the content right for that advertising is crucial for its success.
What do your customers want?
Customer research into what does and doesn’t work is always important when considering marketing content and avenues, and in the case of Like Minders that is made easier by the fact that it was set up by two parents who saw a gap in a specific area of the childcare industry. As such, we have an instinct of what works and what switches people off. You will never build trust and gain clients through in-your-face, gimmicky marketing, or cheesy PR stunts. However, advertising campaigns which highlights the experience of the agency, the expertise of the carers and the quality of the service is much more likely to help convert that potential customer into a client.
Ultimately, trust can only really be properly established once the individual becomes your customer. However, the right kind of marketing initiatives can help build the case for your business. Once you have that client, getting that service absolutely spot on every time then becomes your best marketing tool of all!