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Twenty-six years ago, I co-authored a Journal of Marketing article that helped demonstrate the pivotal role of trust in maintaining the customer relationship. While there are many definitions of trust, we focused our attention on keeping promises, putting the customer’s interests and good, old-fashioned honesty first. Subsequent publications examined the caustic effects of opportunistic behavior on the part of the seller, i.e., taking advantage of the buyer’s vulnerability. At the level of the individual customer experience, the costs of trust violations and malicious self-interest by the seller are well-documented in both B-to-C and B-to-B settings: diminished loyalty, fewer repeat purchases and unfavorable word-of-mouth.
This summer, Google was granted a patent that describes how the search engine might rank events based upon data that might indicate the popularity of those events, without relying on things such as the number of links pointed to pages about those events. The patent involves ranking events that occur in physical locations.
Examples of the kinds of events talked about in this patent include such things as music concerts, art exhibits, and athletic contests, all happening for specified periods of times at specified physical locations, such as concert halls, galleries, stadiums, or museums.