Lessons in Trust

A few years ago, I was an inexperienced co-owner of a small video game bar in Tempe. Early on, we allowed an online community to utilize our space for events free-of-charge. We wanted to give something back to the communities we had participated in, as well as spread the word about our business.

The response wasn’t as positive as we would have liked. One scathing review on Google really sticks with me.

“Events hosted there had marketing companies posted out front with large tables of marketing material to push on unsuspecting party-goers.”

This comment was referring to a prom-themed event at which we had allowed a few individuals to sell corsages and other relevant goods at our front doors. For us, it was . . .

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A debate topic being tossed around our office right now is marketing (Is it a good thing? Is it evil?). I’m willing to bet we’re not the only ones arguing.

Some people have majorly negative connotations when the words “advertising” or “marketing” come up in conversation, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, perceptions about marketing are being shaped by brands that never should have been in the conversation to begin with. Some companies will do whatever it takes to make a buck, chasing any “prospective customer” alive. (cough…Volkswagen)

Companies that chase the almighty dollar first and foremost tend to get themselves in trouble with their marketing (and sometimes even business practices) because they value short-term gain over long-term, quality customer relationships.

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