12 Jul Advertising and marketing must ‘rebuild trust’
The key to a successful future for advertising and marketing will be “rebuilding shattered trust”, according to Dan Hagen, global chief strategy officer of of the leading digital performance marketing agency iProspect.
Speaking at its Future Focus Edinburgh, Hagen said that in an era where people are bombarded with messages continually “trust is in universal decline” and “attention is a scarce commodity.”
He told the event, of which Scottish Business Insider was the media partner, that recent research had shown that advertising was the least trusted of all the professions.
Hagen said we are living in a time where “connection is challenged because attention is quite scarce.”
He went on to say of consumers that the “pace of change is too fast which is leaving them overwhelmed by choice.”
Research conducted by iProspect for its Future Focus 2019 report among global marketers found that:
- 76 per cent of them said that trust is important to keep consumers buying their brand
- 47 per cent define trust as brand loyalty and the same percentage define trust as consumers being ambassadors.
Introducing the event Anneli Ritari-Stewart said: “The foundation for brand success in the digital economy will be built on establishing credibility, relevance and reliability.”
Picking up the theme, Hagen said: “We have to be credible in this space.”
He said: “Fake news is everywhere.”
He stressed the importance of authenticity. This, he said, meant “doing fewer things but doing them deeply and doing them really, really well.”
He said that businesses and brands had to achieve “relevance in an age of noise.”
“Overload is a major barrier to achieving that cut through.”
Hagen said that communications should be “designed for people not KPIs” [key performance indicators].
A key to relevance would be integrating the online and offline communication. He said that it was vital that online and offline work better together than is so often the case now.
Key findings of the iProspect research:
“It is fundamental for brands to deliver against each component of the trust equation – credibility, relevance and reliability – if they are to hold consumer confidence for the long term.”
Credibility in the age of doubt:
The report says that there are new forces redefining credibility with key questions being: Is this brand competent? Is it legitimate to talk about this topic? Is what it says clear? Are words followed by concrete actions? Is this company really transparent? Does it protect my data? Is the brand promise authentic? Does the product deliver on this? Does it respect my consumer preferences?
Relevance in the age of noise:
Successful marketers will be those able to outplay the ad blitz by designing relevant experiences, respective of each individual’s profile and context.
Being relevant in an age saturated with pixels is not an easy task, and marketers will have to obey three commandments to truly resonate with customers:
- Develop a genuine understanding of people – brands need to acquire and maintain a thorough knowledge of their audiences’ behaviour and preferences.
- Design individualised experiences – although using data to create personalised experiences is the priority for markets in 2019, 45 per cent believe their current lack of agility to quickly evolve their current proposition is a serious impediment to increased trust in the longer term. Building high-fidelity portraits of consumers is a vain enterprise if brands cannot personalise experiences accordingly.
- Engage beyond screens – Relevance cannot be approached in silos. To be trusted, brands cannot offer pertinent solutions on their websites but irrelevant in-store services to the same consumers. Consistency between environments is critical.
Reliability in the age of convenience:
“While credibility and relevance are key components for building trust, brands also need to convincingly demonstrate that they are reliable over time. A brand can be seen as an expert and be highly relevant in the eyes of consumers, but if its website loads slowly, a package is lost, or the payment crashes mid-transaction, consumers wont fully trust this brand.”
The report says that not only tech giants but small innovative brands are growing rapidly by making the most of the new technology-shaped customer expectations.