Monthly Archives: May 2022



I hear a lot of service brands talk about trust. There’s nothing wrong with being a trusted brand. Hell, it’s the same in the brand strategy world. Clients need to trust. Especially when marketers are not buying something existential, like a logo or name. They’re buying “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.” But I digress.

When trust becomes a problem in a category, say car dealerships or low-cost lawyers, marketers sometimes default to using the “T” word in their advertising. It may sound like marko-babble but it’s reality: You can’t sell trust, you earn trust. Using the word trust in an ad is flawed craft. Proving you can be trusted is the only way to approach it. Through deeds. And actions.

Trust Pilot has built a business on codifying trust. Yelp, to an extent, has done the same collecting customer comments.

Whenever I read an ad that contains the word trust I lose interest. It’s worse than canned laughter on TV. Don’t tell me how to feel, make me feel.



New Age Agency Searches.



I have been going through an agency search with one of my clients. It has been quite a learning curve.  It has been a while since I pitched a piece of business as an agency.  I mean a while in like dog years. When digital advertising is part of the solution set, performance marketing and measurement is almost as important as the big idea/big show of the pitch.

Algo over personality.

Being a strategist, it’s imperative that I stay up to date with culture. And when some companies today are using 80-90% of their media budgets on search, that’s a culture change. When brand awareness can be judged in a geography by counting Google search queries of a brand name (relative to other brands), that’s a sea change.

But clicks alone are not what the marketing and advertising business is about. I deal in brand strategy. The organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. I am not the maker of generic dashboards.

A better click rate for digital ads that are off-strategy aren’t better clicks. They are more clicks. So better isn’t always better. Not if it isn’t hewing to the values that predispose and post-dispose customers to purchase your product, aka brand values.  

Selling clicks isn’t selling product.