You can't make a scientific claim without testing and proving your hypothesis. You can't write a research paper without using and listing sources. So why should marketers expect blind acceptance that the claims they make in marketing content are true?

They shouldn't, says Melanie Deziel, author of Prove It: Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust, and the featured guest on today's Marketing Smarts Live Show.

That's especially true today, because people are more skeptical of marketing than ever.

"It has never been more difficult to win the trust of consumers. Hands down," she says in the episode.

"If we look at the historical data of how consumer skepticism has risen, of likelihood of trusting businesses, trust is down, skepticism is way up. I know it sounds bleak, but these folks don't believe anything we say."

Then how? How do marketers prove their statements?

Check out the video for the answer—and much more.

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 44

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:


Full Transcript | Marketing Smarts Live Show Episode 44 | Why B2B Marketers Need to 'Prove It' With a Trust-Building Content Strategy

This rough transcript is machine-generated. It's been only minimally edited by humans.

George B. Thomas:Welcome to The Marketing Smarts Live show by MarketingProfs and The Marketing Smarts podcast.... You can't make a scientific claim without testing and proving your hypothesis. You can't write a research paper without using and listing sources. So why should marketers expect blind acceptance that the claims they make in marketing content are true?

Well, they shouldn't, says Melanie Deziel, author of Prove It: Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust, especially cuz people are more skeptical of marketing than ever. That's a #truth, ladies and gentlemen. Melanie shared in the original podcast episode that it has never been more difficult to win the trust of consumers. Hands down, if we look at the historical data of how consumers skepticism has risen of the likelihood of trusting businesses, trust is down and skepticism is way up. I know it sounds bleak, but these folks don't believe anything we say. Then how do marketers prove their statements? That and more in this Week's Marketing Smarts Live Show.

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers. Today I'm excited to bring you episode 44 of the Marketing Smarts Live Show. This week's topic is all about why B2B marketers, you and I, need to prove it with a trust-building content strategy.

So if you're ready to get your learn on, then buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll. I'm your boy, George B. Thomas, speaker, trainer, catalyst, and the host of this here show, the Marketing Smarts live show, as well as the Marketing Sports podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Melanie Deziel, keynote speaker, award-winning branded content creator, and author of the Content Fuel Framework, How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas and Prove It: Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust. Melanie is the founder of StoryFuel, and she spends her days giving keynotes and leading workshops that teach marketers, creators, and companies of all sizes how to create better content.

Now remember, the clips of Melanie Deziel today are pulled from the Full Marketing Smarts podcast episode, and if you want to listen to the full interview with Melanie Deziel and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast. Link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now in this episode, again, I'm talking with Melanie about why we need to prove it with our trust building content strategy. With today's episode, I wanted to dig right in and ask Melanie the best tips she would have for us as B2B marketers to prove in our content marketing moving forward. How can we add in this trust? What are the tips? How do we prove it? So I asked her the question, what are two or three tips for creating trust building content? And here's what she had to share.

Melanie Deziel: If you're all-in and you want to do this, the book has all of the information, much more than we could get into right now, but I'll give you three things you can focus on at least for the time being.

My recommendation is when you're looking to create proof, you're looking to create evidence of these claims that you're making, there are three types that work super well. Corroborate the claims that you're making. That means relying on other people's opinions, that's the quotes, the testimonials, the case studies, the expert opinions. Bring in other voices to agree with what you're saying.

The second type is to demonstrate. Look for ways to show it. Like in the infomercial, show them instead of just telling them. How can you let them see it with their own eyes? Give them the full product walk through, the tutorial, the behind the scenes, the in-depth case study.

Corroborate, demonstrate, and then educate. I think that's a really forgotten one. A lot of times, our audience can't believe our claims because they don't understand them. We spend so much time in our area that we understand the jargon, the acronyms, and why these things are important. Especially if your buyer is not your end user, then there's almost certainly an education gap that you need to fill to help them understand those claims and make the most informed decision.

So, corroborate with other people's opinions, demonstrate by showing the truth behind your claims, and then educate to make sure that they understand what they need to trust you.

George B. Thomas:Did you write down those tips? I sure hope so. I would say asking yourself how you will create prove it style content with a trust building formula by leveraging, corroborating, demonstrating, and educating in your content strategy and creation in the future is of the upmost importance. So I have to ask, how will these three tips help you with your content moving forward? Put the answer to that in the chat pane or let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b, and of course tag me using @GeorgeBThomas

Now we'll get back to Melanie Deziel and her thoughts on why B2B marketers need to prove it with a trust building content strategy. But first I have to ask, Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? Yet? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading to

Now it's time for one of my favorite sections, In the B2B News, where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the Google News tab related to you and your B2B business this week. Well, the title is 4 Pillars of B2B Brand Trust, How to Build Customer Confidence: "Trust comes from showing competence, integrity, reliability, and empathy in all interactions with B2B buyers. In today's digital-first world, trust has become a precious commodity. Buyers are savvier and more suspicious. Good news, you can still earn their loyalty. Here are what I (and I being the author, not I being me.) Here's what I see as the four pillars of business-to-business Brand trust, and some practical tips on how you can create healthy business relationships with your customers." Are you ready to learn about the four pillars? Then read that article; check out the link below when the live show is over.

So let's get back to Melanie Deziel and her Marketing Smarts podcast episode. Now that you have three tips for Melanie and a couple of the four pillars you could pay attention to, I wanted to know what would get in our way as B2B marketers. So I asked Melanie, What are some hurdles you've seen marketers face along the way with building this trust, the prove-it strategy, all of those items. Here's what she had to share.

Melanie Deziel: There's two that I think are major. One is looking at that list of things we talked about, corroborating, demonstrating, educating, and thinking we have that covered, we're already doing that, and not really looking at it with a critical eye to see is it doing a good job of backing up those claims, are we making it easily available. Just writing it off as we've got that covered is probably the first one.

The second one is to have that short-term excitement, think of it like a sprint and not a marathon, keeping with your metaphor there. This is not something that you need to blow up your whole strategy and do differently. This is not something that you need to go all-in on and burn out really quick. This is a mindset to adopt and slowly start to work in through time.

It's going to take time. You want to shift that mindset, so don't think of it as everything we need to do for the next month is just evidence of everything. I like the sprinkle analogy, we're seasoning our strategy with proof, we're just sprinkling it throughout a lot of the stuff we're doing to try to bring that proof more to the surface.

George B. Thomas:Do you think that you have it covered or are you looking at your content with fresh eyes? Do you look at your content as a marathon? Or do you look at this as a mindset to adopt? Think to yourself how to season your content with proof to bring it to the surface as you move forward.

Now, we will get back to Melanie in a few minutes, but first it's time for some dope B2B learnings from the vault of MarketingProfs articles. That's right, it's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is Three Ways to Create Trust-Building Content by Catherine Gillette. Do you see what I'm doing with this whole episode? Trust Prove It. Pillars. Now we're talking about three ways to create it. Anyway, hopefully these resources that are curated are helping you. Let's get into this article: People do business with people they know, like, and trust. But building trust with our audience can be an act of courage. I thought that the Lion from the Wizard of Oz, courage. Courage anyway, well, a series of them really yet can, can quickly pay huge dividends in addition to the reward of goodwill that everyone feels, or maybe because of them building trust can reap higher response rates. Loyalty and revenue, something we all want. Imagine landing on a website, the spotlights, and an apology for a huge mistake the company made that I kind of paused there, cuz have you seen that lately? I don't know if you've seen that on many company websites. Then on another site, you see they've highlighted an offer that trusts you to pay whatever you feel their offer is worth. Whoa, what are we talking about? That's just crazy, right? Not really. There's plenty of proof out there that trust is not just good for one-to-one relationships, but also good for B2B businesses. Wanna see more examples? Then click that link in the description below.

Article number two this week, How to Develop Client and Customer Trust by Paul McCord. Selling is not so much about the features of our products or services or even the benefits the customer receives. Rather, it is about our relationship with the customer. People do business with people they trust. That does not mean people will not make an occasional purchase of a specific item or service from someone they do not trust because most people will at some point in time. However, those purchases tend to be exactly that, one-time purchases; to generate consistent repeat business, to generate high-quality referrals and to generate large more profitable sales...

Well, you can't rely on the occasional one-time purchaser to build a sales business. You must develop a book of clients who trust you.

Wanna keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles

All right, back to Melanie Deziel. Let's dive back into this conversation of why B2B marketers need to prove it with a trust-building content strategy. As you might be able to tell this week, I am cutting to the chase. So what is the bullseye? Where do we head if we are trying to head in the direction of success? Yep, that's exactly what I wanted to know. So I asked Melanie, what does prove-it success look like in content, business, and growth? What's the positive impact? Here's, ladies and gentlemen, what she had to say.

Melanie Deziel: Anecdotally, looking at the clients that I've worked with when we've built out this kind of stuff, it looks like a couple of things. Obviously, the specifics will depend on your particular industry and your particular sales flow, but it looks like fewer objections. It sometimes looks like fewer not showing up to your call, not responding to your follow ups, because we're addressing those objections, we're addressing the doubts, we're filling the gaps in the knowledge. It looks like a better sell through rate when you're able to have these conversations where you're bringing the proof in, you're not leaving as many doubts in their mind.

Sometimes it looks like even broader things. We might see greater followership, greater subscribers, greater web traffic. Again, if you're giving folks the answer behind the question, then there's less opportunity for them to say this looks like it's exaggeration, they're saying I don't believe it, I'm going to go do something else. We start to see that deeper engagement, which has the follow-on effects. If folks are staying longer, they're converting more, you start to see the trailing effects in terms of loyalty, average customer lifetime value, all those things follow suit.

The real thing we're trying to do is not give them a chance to break up with us before we've solidified the relationship.

George B. Thomas:Ooh, do you see any of these right now? Fewer objections, people following up on and or showing up to your calls? Do you see a good see-through rate? Do you see greater followership and greater traffic? If yes, you might be headed in the right direction, but did you hear the magic words deeper in engagement, not giving them a reason to break up with us before we solidified the relationship? Now that sounds like a dope strategy.

We're gonna get back to some words of wisdom from Melanie Deziel here in a few minutes, but right now it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep. Time for from the #mpb2b community. We search far and wide in the #mpb2b universe to find amazing information and conversations to bring to you the masses. So first, make sure you're using the hashtag. Second, make sure you have fun and at value to the community along the way. Then of course, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show.

And this week it's our very own Vahe Habeshian, director of publications at MarketingProfs his post. Can you use AI to create loads of content and keep it all in your own voice? Yes. And you'll have more than you know what to do with. It's all about using the right tools at the right time. Data scientist, Christopher Penn tells you how in this fantastic MarketingProfs Marketing Smarts podcast, episode 533; he also breaks down why AI is not going to take your job, but here is who will; what to feed into ChatGPT so it writes compelling social media posts and how you'll save time and make more money after client calls. All this and more, check out the link. #mpb2b. #marketing #b2b #B2Bmarketing #ai.

So let's address the elephant in the room. Was that just a little self-promotional? Maybe . But listen, I love Christopher Penn and the way his brain works. Not to mention that was a super dope episode. You should definitely check it out. And to do just that, check out the description and click that link to check out the post and listen to the podcast Vahe mentions and learn more about AI and content marketing smarts.

Viewers, I have to ask, Are you gonna be next to get the spotlight? Remember, community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show. All right, let's kick it back to Melanie Deziel and some words of wisdom around this topic of why B2B marketers need to prove it with a trust building content strategy. Here is what Melanie wanted to leave us with.

Melanie Deziel:You know, I wish I could remember my genius words of wisdom from last time. I hope I'm not repeating. I think the biggest thing here is to trust your gut. I think that content in marketing we do a lot of measuring, we talk about metrics, but there's something to be said for the instinct that you feel deep in your bones, deep in your gut, when you think something isn't up to snuff or it's not cutting it, or it's just not sitting right with you from an ethical standpoint. Trust your gut. Your gut knows. Listen to your gut. If we follow our gut, I think we'll all end up with slightly better marketing.

George B. Thomas:Slightly better marketing. Yes. How much do you trust your gut when it comes to your content? Do you trust your instincts or do you just hit the publish to make a deadline? I beg you, trust your gut and head in the direction of delivering better marketing in the future.

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know. Use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you're joining us on. Head to the description below. Click on the link to the full Marketing Smarts Podcast with Melanie Deziel and keep learning more about why, B2B marketers, you need to prove it with a trust-building content strategy.

Remember, these were just a few clips of the original Marketing Smarts podcast interview. If you got value from today's show, hit that like, and better yet, share with a friend or coworker to keep learning more. Hit subscribe or watch additional MarketingProfs videos on your favorite social channel. Or head over to our YouTube channel if you're not there yet. Or you can go tune into the original Marketing Smarts podcast episode on your favorite podcast app. Don't forget to become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to And as always, remember to be a happy, helpful, humble B2B marketing human. And we'll see you on the next episode of The Marketing Smarts Live Show next week.

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas