Assurance Is The Main Objective For Us All
No matter what industry you are in, there is one thing that you do today that should become your objective to bind what you do with others.
It has nothing to do with innovation, becoming the quickest, smartest and all round messiah in the eyes of your audience.
It has nothing to do with being able to prove to others that you know more or in a smarter place than your competition.
It is nothing about becoming the rock star that your audience supposedly wants.
Backing Up What You Say You Are
It is all about creating a sense of assurance.
Making other people feel assured is the bridge between commerce and being able to connect with others on a personal level.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are within, making others feel that everything is going to be ‘alright’ is better than a vacuum of silence. It’s ‘we’ve got your back’, rather than a ‘have you contacted our Customer Relations team?’
This is also all about providing reassurance to a specific audience that you can speak directly to.
Dealing With The Old Food Poisoning
Here are two examples from opposite ends of the assurance spectrum.
Lets start off with the bad end of the spectrum.
I got married in 2011 and the mother in-law fell ill at the hotel during the wedding ceremony. The doctor put everything down to food poisoning when staying at the local hotel (no I won’t name them).
The hotel didn’t accept any responsibility. From their perspective their was no concern or making sure she was ok (in their eyes it was someone who got carried away with the revelry of a wedding), it was merely someone who stayed at the hotel who got ill.
Needless to say, when people ask me for a hotel to stay, this hotel in Bournemouth is never mentioned.
This is the good end of the assurance spectrum.
The mother in-law fell ill again last month from the Indian take away (at least this story has a link). When she felt better, she called the take away to make them known that she ate something bad and to check their side.
Within 48 hours, the owner of the take away drove over to her house to check she was ok. Regardless of the money off he gave; it was more about the concern from someone that one their customers fell ill. Last week, the takeaway received the same customer(s) again.
Twitter Doesn’t Change Anything
This is where we all are today and the business you are part of.
Even though the means of communicating with each other has changed massively and there are so many places to create a dialogue, what we want as a relationship hasn’t changed one bit.
We don’t want faceless brands directing us to another place as quickly as possible. The ‘just get as far away from my timeline as possible please, nothing to see here everybody else’ approach cannot work.
The only reason brands use Twitter is to get other people off their as quickly as possible.
Business assurance isn’t from a company that does this …
Assurance isn’t this either…
It is like my dad and granddad watching me play football as a kid and even though I wasn’t that good, made me feel like I was Ian Bishop (my favourite football player as a 15 year old and still my favourite football player of all time). I felt ok.
Assurance in business is all about making people who could be a bit unsure, convinced that they make (or will make) the right choice.
It’s about making someone feel safe.
Assurance In Business – Lets Have Some Proof
To demonstrate what I mean, lets look at the practice of taking on board a content marketing approach.
I completely understand that this is new approach to consider for many businesses and to embrace and adopt within the fabric of their business.
Businesses need to feel assured. There has to be a guarantee that doing something different is going to be fine.
Here are some things that I have done (or doing) to make others feel a bit more comfortable (and hopefully committed):
- Be present in more than one place for people to understand that adapting their marketing approach in a more modern way has to be taken seriously. I invite people to listen to The Marketing Homebrew weekly podcast or read The Content Revolution.
Why do I do this? Showcases a different space than a blog to deliver a perspective.
- Publish articles every week and send an email every Thursday morning to a subscribed audience, without fail.
Why do I do this? Show consistency in an approach and create a continuous reference point (either within Owned Media Mindset or Talking Content Marketing.
- The majority of content created (whether audio or written) is focused on searching for the truth and the way we have to behave differently, not just demonstrating the use of a product.
Why do I do this? It is about backing up an approach and for others to see.
- Acknowledge that if people find a body of work around the area that I believe in, is better than all directions pointing to how well 2015 was and how busy the company is.
Why do I do this? We have all got tired with filling others peoples spaces with self congratulation.
- If I can come back again and again with confidence and generosity, it is a better place to be than having a pure selling approach to take, take, take.
Why do I do this? I want people to see that I have a responsibility and able to build a business about the thing that I truly believe in (an owned media approach).
How Do You Give Assurance To Someone You Have Never Met?
It is not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.
Making people feel ok in a world where we need more assurance is about making that commitment and to consolidate trust.
Retailers online and offline, such as Gap and Amazon have an approach that is all about keeping to a promise. If you’re not aware, they have a price adjustment policy. This means that if a price is lowered within 14 days (for Amazon it’s seven days) of you buying an item, you will be refunded the difference. There we go, I’ve just done my bit for your Black Friday this year that you may not be aware of!
If I can bring things back to a small business perspective, assurance represents the needs of others as priority in what you do.
It is everything to do with providing direction over self-interest. This becomes the thing that your company stands for. It also works when it is imbued within a company framework of people, passion and culture (have a read of my article that looked at this from a couple of weeks ago).
Lets Start To Round Up
Assurance represents knowing the role that you provide.
It’s about not being everything to everyone, but even better at what you do know.
When assurance works, it encourages a virtuous circle of conversations built on trust and belief.
The barriers are down and represents everything that a content marketing approach should be about, a continuous flow of dialogue between people on an individual level and not broadcasting in the hope that someone will listen.
It’s time to let others know what you are firmly behind.