In this age of data management regulations and privacy fears, trust is becoming the new commodity. Trust differentiates you from the competition, but how can YOU, as an individual, help build this trust? How can you be a better neighbour to your customers through customer engagement and ethical marketing?
I believe this comes down to individual relationships and community building. Anybody in an organization, regardless of role, can contribute. The more the merrier! Taking on the role of an advocate is no easy task, but if you want to build trust and relationships, here are 3 things that can help:
- Be Honest
- Be Kind
- Be Helpful
While organizations, as a whole, focus on data privacy and brand trust (this is good!), individuals can also contribute to the overall customer engagement and building of trust building through community building and ethical marketing practices. Our focus should be on being human — on being Honest, Kind, and Helpful. We need to build connections to create customer trust in the brand.
Each one of us has the power to be who we are, help others, and generally be a good citizen in our industry. Everybody needs help sometimes and many of us have different ways we can lend a helping hand. Maybe it’s a blog, or Twitter, or a community Slack, or answering questions on Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow, or maybe you like to share your things live on stage in front of lots of people. Find how you like to help out!
This is not without challenges. It takes time to build a community, and many are doing this on the side. In the technology sphere, Developer Relations (DevRel) is becoming more established thanks to years of Open Source community efforts, but other audiences (like marketers) don’t necessarily have the same advocacy structure in place.
Additionally, what if an advocate leaves a company to go to a competitor? All the brand trust the advocate built up was with the individual advocate. The advocate is the one with the relationships. What happens next? This can be a scary thought for management who are looking at taking on advocacy in a more deliberate way.
I’m all in on advocacy. I’ve been doing DevRel in some form or another for nearly a decade, and only in the last few years have I taken it on full time. I think we need to spread the benefits of advocacy to other disciplines, and I think we need to build these connections in a kinder way.
I think if you ask yourself these questions, it can help you to know what might be the next step for you:
- Why is trust important to me or the company I work for?
- What does it mean to me, to be Honest, Kind, and Helpful?
- How can I contribute?
- What challenges will face me if I try to be an advocate?
- Are there any changes that need to happen in the organization to help me?
My door is always open for questions, so never fear to reach out to @StCyrThoughts.