Business Owners: How To Create Trust In The Fake News Era

Huffington Post

A few weeks ago I flew out to Nashville, Tennessee.

It was a last minute business trip, and I was eager try out the local fare, but I didn’t have time to do any research beforehand. Sure, billboards and various marketing messages were up all over town, suggesting where to go and what to eat, but I opted to seek out advice from locals and online reviews instead.

Trust marketing is a concept that originated at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and is based on the theory that customers make the majority of their purchases based on advice, reviews, and company information that is all readily available online. The first study on trust marketing originated back in 2000. Nowadays, virtually all of us do these things before making a purchase.

To learn more about this phenomenon, I spoke with Peter Mühlmann, the Founder and CEO of Trustpilot, an online review hub boasting over 30 million reviews. “In an age of fake news and ambiguous marketing, consumers have offered their own solution: other consumers. Customers are using crowd sourced decision making, relying on the experiences and opinions of others” he said.

“The crowd’s voices, opinions, and beliefs now say much more about a brand than traditional advertising or marketing, which is why it’s more important than ever to build trust and engage with that crowd” he continued.