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The Visible Word: Building Trust with Transparency

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The power of total—even brutal—honesty can deepen your bond with your audience and
cut through the skepticism of today’s high-information customers. In this session, we’ll
examine some case studies in showing the world how the sausage is made (sometimes,
literally). Presented by Jason Toon, formerly of Woot.com, at Confab 2014.

Published in: Marketing, Business
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The Visible Word: Building Trust with Transparency

  1. 1. @jasontoon The Visible Word Building Trust With Transparency Jason Toon Toon & Friends May 8, 2014
  2. 2. @jasontoon Who Does This “Jason Toon” Think He Is? • Head writer, etc. at Woot, 2005-2013 • Guided brand voice from nimble little startup to lumbering, gargantuan subsidiary of Amazon • Now freelance consultant and copywriter as Toon & Friends • Also written for Pitchfork, VICE, Gizmodo, and a bunch of those free weeklies with the weed and prostitution ads in the back
  3. 3. Gizmodo reviews the Torpedo Projector, 11/28/07 • “The World’s Crappiest Projector” • “…contrast ratio? Well, there wasn't any.” • “…the FBI warning at the beginning of the DVD was not legible at all. It looked like hieroglyphics.” • “…as pixelated as any video could ever possibly be…” • “…even smelled bad, like mildew, and made way more noise than we could bear…” @jasontoon
  4. 4. Woot sells the Torpedo Projector, 4/26/09 @jasontoon
  5. 5. Woot sells the Torpedo Projector, 4/26/09 Total one-day sales: 814 units Total one-day revenue: $48,831 @jasontoon
  6. 6. Woot launches an affiliate program, 2011 • Messaging needs: – Manage expectations for our customers unfamiliar with affiliate marketing – Discourage participants who are more likely to cannibalize existing Woot customers @jasontoon
  7. 7. Woot launches an affiliate program, 2011 @jasontoon
  8. 8. Woot launches an affiliate program, 2011 @jasontoon
  9. 9. Woot launches an affiliate program, 2011 @jasontoon
  10. 10. The Case of the Bursting Sausage Casings @jasontoon
  11. 11. The Case of the Bursting Sausage Casings @jasontoon
  12. 12. The Case of the Bursting Sausage Casings @jasontoon
  13. 13. The Case of the Bursting Sausage Casings @jasontoon
  14. 14. The Case of the Bursting Sausage Casings @jasontoon
  15. 15. The Case of the Bursting Sausage Casings @jasontoon
  16. 16. The Case of the Bursting Sausage Casings @jasontoon
  17. 17. The “Blemishing Effect” @jasontoon Small doses of mildly negative information may strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service, especially when: •The consumer already has some positive feelings about the product or service •Is less focused on making this particular buying decision, as with “most online ads, for example” ("When Blemishing Leads to Blossoming: The Positive Effect of Negative Information," Danit Ein-Gar, Baba Shiv, Zakary Tormala; Journal of Consumer Research 38 (5), 2012. More information at http://stanford.io/mivqzm)
  18. 18. Don’t Try to Pull a Fast One @jasontoon • Fast disclaimers in broadcast ads make consumers think the advertiser is hiding something • And diminish purchase intent • Unless the brand is one the consumer already trusts (“On the Dangers of Pulling a Fast One: Advertisement Disclaimer Speed, Brand Trust and Purchase Intention” Kenneth C. Herbst, Eli J. Finkel, David Allan, Gráinne M. Fitzsimons.; Journal of Consumer Research 38 (5), 2012. Full paper at http://bit.ly/19R6d4E)
  19. 19. Don’t Try to Pull a Fast One @jasontoon
  20. 20. 4 Questions to Ask About Your Communications @jasontoon 1. Am I revealing or obscuring? 1. Am I anticipating or reacting? 2. Am I using expressive language, or stock phrases? 1. Am I establishing my expertise, or abdicating it?

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