The Evolving Landscape of Marketing: Social Proof and Trust as the Cornerstone

Strategic advice from the founder of Round Barn Labs, Tye DeGrange.

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, the journey of Round Barn Labs through its ten-year tenure is a testament to the dynamic nature of this industry. This journey, laden with diverse clients, iterative processes, case studies, and constant learning, highlights a crucial aspect of marketing: trust. 

Understanding the Essence of Marketing

Our approach’s core lies in the understanding that people inherently seek trust in their interactions, particularly in marketing. While brands continue to utilize traditional advertising avenues such as TV, radio, print, and various digital platforms, a fundamental shift is occurring in consumer behavior. The modern consumer is increasingly resistant to conventional ads, a phenomenon evident through trends like banner blindness and ad fatigue.

The Shift to Trusted Recommendations

What truly resonates with consumers is social proof which can be made up of entertainment and recommendations from trusted sources – friends, family, bloggers, influencers, and even celebrities. This shift is not just a fleeting trend but a fundamental change in the landscape of consumer engagement.

The Three Pillars of Content: Owned, Earned, and Paid Media

To effectively navigate this landscape, it’s crucial to understand the three types of media – owned, earned, and paid.

  1. Owned Media: This includes all channels under a brand’s direct control, offering complete content control. It’s vital for cultivating brand identity and long-term relationships.
  2. Earned Media: Gained through word-of-mouth, affiliate marketing, customer reviews, and media coverage, earned media lends credibility and trust through third-party endorsements. It requires quality content and ongoing public relations efforts.
  3. Paid Media: Beyond traditional advertising, paid media today includes strategic content creation that builds audience trust, often blending earned and owned media elements.

Building Trust Through Strategic Engagements

Round Barn Labs specializes in a unique form of paid media, orchestrating affiliate and influencer engagements with a focus on authenticity. This involves several strategies, such as seeding products with potential influencers, leveraging customer reviews, and securing feature articles in high-traffic publications.

The Power of Trusted Recommendations and Social Proof

The dilemma brands face today is clear: will consumers respond better to direct advertisements or trusted recommendations? The answer, supported by data, leans heavily towards the latter. Trusted recommendations, especially from influencers and content creators, have a significantly more significant impact than traditional ads.

The Role of Round Barn Labs in Amplifying Trust

In a world where social media is rising, and trust in traditional authority is waning, the need for authentic voices in marketing is more critical than ever. Round Barn Labs excels in identifying and amplifying these voices, ensuring that your brand’s message is heard and trusted.

Embracing the Future of Marketing

As we witness this shift towards a preference for authenticity and trusted recommendations, Round Barn Labs invites you to join in this journey. Embrace the power of trust in marketing, recognizing that what others say about your brand can be more influential than what you say about yourself.


In conclusion, the marketing landscape is changing, and trust is at its heart. Round Barn Labs is dedicated to navigating this change, helping brands build and amplify trust with their audiences. If you want to learn more about how trust can revolutionize your marketing strategy, join us on this mission at Round Barn Labs. Let’s shape the future of marketing together, where trusted recommendations triumph over traditional ads.

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