Trust is the connective tissue between a brand and its customers. As marketers, we play a special role in building trusted relationships with our customers. In many ways, we are the face and voice of the brand. Everything we say and do can build or destroy trust. This is why values-based marketing is important.
As customers navigate a rapidly-shifting world, values-based marketing is more crucial than ever. In Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, we found that 74% of customers say a brand communicating honestly and transparently is more important now than before the pandemic.
Our research also finds that customers trust companies to act responsibly. Seventy-one percent of customers in Singapore and 83% of customers in Thailand trust companies to act with society’s best interest in mind.
Salesforce’s marketing team is now prioritising values along with products. We are communicating what we stand for and the actions we’re taking to live our values. That helps people understand who we fundamentally are as a company and what we’re like as a partner.
With that, here are five ways we lead with values in our marketing. We hope you can find these strategies useful in your own communications as well.
1. We publicly hold ourselves accountable for living our values
You may have seen our high-profile Team Earth campaign featuring Matthew McConaughey. By discussing our values on big stages at Salesforce events such as Dreamforce and Salesforce Live, we invite others to hold us accountable for truly living our beliefs in trust, equality, and sustainability.
2. We strive to communicate with integrity, authenticity, and transparency
We share our values with the world because we know they are important to our stakeholders. We build trust by being honest, helpful, and relevant, providing information our customers and others need to make the right decisions for their company and community.
3. We practise inclusive marketing
That means our storytelling reflects the diverse communities that we serve. It includes people of all backgrounds, regardless their race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, sexual orientation, or religion. We challenge stereotypes and inspire people to be the best they can be.
We use a method called counter-stereotyping that portrays people in roles that challenge prejudices. We want to dispel incorrect perceptions and showcase our belief that anyone can do anything. We keep accessibility top of mind for how our content is consumed, too. For example, all images in our content must meet accessibility standards, which include acceptable colours and fonts, plus alt text for images and closed captioning for videos.
4. We lead with sustainable marketing
Our events marketing team uses QR codes that direct to downloadable schedules and content (instead of handing out paper programs). We give eco-conscious gifts. And recipients must opt in to direct mail (less paper, more digital).
5. We’re building a safe future for consumer data
The technology world is changing at breakneck speed, and while innovation is great, sometimes it’s hard to keep up. That can turn into unfair and even risky situations. We are taking all possible steps to eliminate algorithmic bias in artificial intelligence, and we’re also protecting user privacy.
Our values-based marketing also prepares our community for the industry and technology shifts that are happening now and coming our way. These include privacy changes, the new era of marketing analytics that focus on consumer privacy, and more. We want our customers and partners to know what steps to take to be successful and safe.
The bottom line is that relationships built on values and trust benefit everyone and lead to progress toward the sustainable and fair world we all want. We can live our highest purpose as marketers by building trust through communicating our values with integrity and building values into everything we do.
Find out what consumers and business buyers have to say about trust and values-based marketing.
This post originally appeared on the U.S.-version of the Salesforce blog.