Whom do you trust to be honest/Digital Trust? In our increasingly suspicious and cynical society, the answer is hard to find.
The mainstream media, once a reliable source of truth, is no longer the best choice for most people. According to Edelman’s latest annual confidence barometer, media confidence fell to 47%, reaching its lowest point in 17 countries.
It’s even worse for our leaders. Governments remain the least reliable at 29%. And the reputation of CEOs around the world dropped 12 points to 37%.
It is almost clear that financial institutions have weaknesses in the trust interest and are lagging behind in all other areas.
All of this should worry us all as marketers because trust is more than just a fun option. This is essential. As Clayton Ruebensaal, American Express’s vice president of global marketing, says, “Trust is the factor best associated with purchase intent.”
What to do if the “official” sources are rejected?
So how can marketers hope to create a lasting connection with consumers in such a toxic atmosphere?
If there is a focus of trust today, it can be summarized as ‘everyone but the civil service’. Technical or academic experts now point to ‘someone like me as a reliable source. All institutions trust people, information is disseminated through corporate communications and social media in traditional advertising.
In other words, authenticity is key. It takes courage from marketers and organizations in general. It requires us to enter communities, engages in authentic dialogue, and demonstrate our value to customers and society.
It also means that our organizations are taking the lid off, something Edelman’s Deidre Campbell describes as “maintaining radical transparency.” “It’s difficult in a highly regulated environment,” admits Campbell, “but it’s essential.” And why don’t people really give an idea if we are proud of what we do and our vision?
Five pillars of digital trust
We’ve summarized these actions into five practical steps digital marketers can take to regain trust.
1. Add value in moments that matter
Use digital tools to show clients your real-time work or personal life experience.
2. Communicate with a human voice
Show strangers who know the insiders about your business – use your best asset, your employees.
3. Become part of the community
Go beyond traditional CSR and show your willingness to be involved in society.
4. Be present, be constant
Raise awareness and trust in good times – and in hard times of everyday life – so customers know they can trust you when things go wrong.
5. Think about context and content
Protect your organization against associative damage, a pitfall recently claimed by several major brands.
Visit our Trust Center for more detailed information and subscribe to our blog for guidance in the coming weeks that will inspire you to rebuild your relationship with your customers.