Trust Agents: Learn to Hack the Game of Marketing

In Trust Agents, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith write about how to build trust at a time when trust is at an all time low. Fortunately we also live in a time when online tools can help us build relationships with far more people than ever before. Trust Agents discusses how large companies can regain the trust of their customers using the social web. Here are some of my favorite ideas from the book:

Learn to hack the game of business
Using the example of video game hackers who find ways to beat the game with creative short cuts, Julien and Chris suggest that we should approach business the same way. Video games often have set rules that most people follow, however the best gamers find ways to get around the rules to beat the game faster. How can you use creativity to hack the traditional rules of marketing to get more attention and build a better community than your customer?

Focus on Others
Just in like real life, on the social web there is a social currency that you can build by being helpful to others. We are hardwired to reciprocate when others help us. Offering valuable information via blogs, podcasts, and social networks is one way to help your customers which will help build stronger relationships and lead them to feel the need to reciprocate by saying good things about you or buy from you.

Communities are Valuable Assets
The book points out that the web breaks down barriers that prevent people with similar interests from coming together. Marketers can facilitate the building of a community around a particular interest. If they can provide value to the community they will often be welcomed in, giving them valuable access. For instance, companies can put on conferences where they provide top speakers in the industry and a venue for the community to interact. Or they can create a useful blog with free resources for the community.

Photo of Chris Brogan by affiliatesummit

Proceeds of affiliate fees donated to Seattle Children’s Hospital