How to use your website to build trust with Bob Armour

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Today on 3-Minute Marketing, I have the great pleasure of chatting with Bob Armour. He’s currently CMO at M1 Finance, a leading all-in-one money management platform that helps self-directed investors achieve long-term financial wellness. Prior to M1, Bob has had an extensive career in the financial services space, heading up marketing efforts for notable financial brands like Jellyvision & Guaranteed Rate.

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Bob came to share his wisdom on one of the biggest challenges facing any CMO or marketing leader: building trust and credibility with your market. Specifically, I wanted to learn from Bob, “How can you use your website to build trust?”

Show notes:

  1. Can you demonstrate “heft”? Is what you say you can do actually being accomplished by lots of other customers like them?
  2. Use data to back up your narrative: how many clients do you have? Assets under management? Reference real numbers.
  3. Satisfy the left side of someone’s brain (“Is this right? Can they do what they say they can do?”) and the right side of someone’s brain (“Do they help people like me?”)
  4. Testimonials and success stories help your potential customers walk in your current customers’ shoes.
  5. Surprise and delight your customers — without any fanfare, send your long-term clients little gifts like swag. While you could offer money, sending little gifts to say “thank you” drives more social sharing and customer excitement.
  6. Get in the trenches as a marketing leader — look for conversations about your brand online and engage in them. The story this tells to consumers is, “This is a company that cares, I might want to check them out!”


– You’re listening to Three Minute Marketing, where we interview the world’s top growth marketing leaders, distill their knowledge into actionable, bite-size insights. Now here’s your host, Chris Mechanic.

– Hello, everybody, welcome to another episode of Three Minute Marketing. I am Jarrett Fleagle, Director of Marketing at WebMechanix, and producer for the Three Minute Marketing podcast, filling in Chris, who is out this week today. Today, Chris is speaking with Bob Armour, so Bob is currently CMO at M1 Finance, they’re a leading all-in-one money management platform that helps self-directed investors achieve long-term financial wellness. And Bob’s fascinating, he’s had an extensive career in the financial services space, he’s headed up marketing efforts for notable financial brands like Jellyvision and Guaranteed Rate, among others. And Chris has a really interesting topic for Bob this week. He’s asking him all about, what are some things you can do to build trust on your website, to build rapport and engage consumers in your market? So check out the episode and hear what Bob has to say about that, and many other fascinating topics in the bonus footage, enjoy.

– I mean, you know, it starts, what I would call at, can you demonstrate heft? Can you demonstrate that what you say you can do is actually being accomplished by lots of other people? So we use a lot of data on our website, how many clients do we have? We have over half a million. How much assets do we have on the platform? We have over 6 billion. When we are comparing ourselves or running promotions around having people transfer accounts from say Fidelity or Vanguard or Charles Schwab, we will reference real numbers. We’ve had, whatever, I’m going to get the numbers wrong, but 2100 accounts transferred over from Vanguard that has accounted for X hundreds of millions of dollars. So showing that there’s kind of the left side of someone’s brain that can get satisfied by like, okay this is right, this feels like they can do what they say they can do. And then I think there’s an element on the right side of the brain that appeals to a person’s emotions. Do they help people like me? And so, there’s testimonials, there’s success stories, there are just things that we will try to point out that we are doing real stuff for real individuals, and I think that helps someone walk in the shoes of the person giving the testimonial. And then the other things we do, and again, I think it builds trust at a micro level but I think when other people encounter it, I think it inspires them is we surprise and delight people. We will just, without kind of any fanfare, we will send clients that have been with us for a while, clients that have trusted us with a substantial amount of money, we will send them M1 swag. And the funny thing is like, you could offer money, way more money than what the swag is worth, and people don’t tweet about like they would with a like cool North Face winter hat.

– Right.

– And so, I think that there is an element that’s forgotten of just like surprise and delight, appreciation and just saying thank you, you know? And some of my colleagues laugh at me ’cause I’ll spend like Saturday mornings, I’ll just be scrolling through Twitter and I will look for conversations about M1 where people are talking about M1 or saying how much they like M1, and I’ll just enter the conversation and just say, “Hey, thanks for your trust in M1, we really appreciate it.” And I think people are blown away that like a human being is paying attention to that kind of thing. And I think that there is, again, it’s not mass advertising, but I think when somebody encounters it, I think there’s something that gets planted in their head that says, “This is a company that cares. And this is somebody that I might want to check out.”

– Yeah, that’s a real human and the CMO, no less.

– For sure, and it’s fun. I mean, because, again, we’re disruptors. So, you know, we can’t be E*TRADE or Charles Schwab, but we can be ourselves and do it our own way. And hopefully, people kind of recognize what we’re doing and how much we appreciate what they’re up to.

– Well, that’s it, I think that was the episode just there because you’re taking onsite elements, which I like your term of heft, to demonstrate heft, to say, hey, we’ve done this a lot of times and we’ve done this for people just like you. Then you’re coupling that with this sort of guerrilla offline strategy. I think every business on earth would be probably well served to take their best customers and send them swag bags, right? Because it just perpetuates that process. ‘Cause now you are basically activating them to become an evangelist. If you’re so inclined, you could go and troll Twitter on Saturdays. I think that’s definitely going above and beyond but that was amazing, Bob. I really, like I said, love M1, if you guys are listening to this and you’re into investing or savings, definitely check out the M1 platform because it’s just like simple, elegant, very trustworthy, and it’s almost enjoyable to use it. I love the community aspect, how you have the pies, the pre-built pies that you could select from, or you could create your own just easy as pie. But I don’t know of another platform that makes it quite so easy so I’m a big fan for sure. And if you are listening to this and you don’t know about M1 Finance, you can check ’em out at If you’re not into investing or saving, I would suggest that you get into it. Because I think Warren Buffett says something to the tune of like, “Dollar cost averaging is just a simple way for ordinary people to develop great wealth over their lifetime.” And it’s boring, it takes discipline not to go and chase after the shiniest new crypto project or whatever gambling style investments there are. But I think it’s just a surefire, tried and true strategy and a great time as we record this, I think to pick up some shares with some nice companies on the cheap. Well, if you’re listening to this, please drop us a like, a comment, a thumbs up. We are interested in what you guys want to talk about or hear about next, and definitely go check out, and you can find Bob Armour on Twitter on Saturday morning.

Bob Armour

Bob ArmourCMO

Chris Mechanic

Chris MechanicCEO & Co-Founder

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