The importance of trust in marketing

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by Ellis Fergar
on

In a recent article we discussed the clickbait conundrum, exploring why quality content trumps sensationalised messaging in marketing . With clickbait and aggressive advertising having drastically reduced consumer trust, now is our chance to rebuild our relationships with audiences stronger than ever. Let’s explore how…

Man and woman shaking hands over a table

Facing the problem

In the 1960s, the Advertising Association reported that 80% of people held a favourable view of advertising. Jump forward to today, that figure stands at just 25%.

At first this seems like cause for alarm for marketers. How can we possibly hope to connect with audiences if they don’t trust our messaging to begin with?

As Keith Weed, President of the Advertising Association and ex-Unilever CEO, put it:

 

“Without trust, advertising has no future. A brand without trust is a product. Advertising without trust is noise.” - Keith Weed

 

No matter how ingenious, complex, well-researched or focus-grouped your advertising strategy is, a solid foundation of trust it is what separates the good from the ‘noise’.

Further studies by the AA have shown that one of the biggest gripes people have is with excessive and irrelevant advertising, often paired with content that is weaker as a result.

But before we throw in the towel and give up our day jobs, perhaps it’s worth considering the opportunities this situation presents.

In rebuilding trust, can we forge stronger, longer-lasting relationships that benefit both companies and consumers?

Building Trust

In our post-truth era, it’s more important than ever to deliver on audience interest in meaningful and exciting ways, driving a ‘system change’ towards sustainable advertising.

In 2019 Hamish Nicklin, chief revenue officer at The Guardian, accused the advertising industry of ‘massively oversteering’ activity towards data.

As has been previously explored, this drastic shift towards click-driven content and quantity over quality messaging strategy was likely driven by the appeal the raw numbers approach.

But as we should all now know, clicks mean very little if they don’t generate engagement and further develop the ongoing relationship businesses have with their customers.

To fix these problems and build new foundations of trust, there are few steps we need to take:

Respecting audiences

As industry professionals the importance of knowing your audience should go without saying. It forms the basis for everything we do.

Respecting your audience on the other hand is far too often overlooked, and this has undoubtedly contributed to the drastic decline in trust.

Many have fallen into the trap of seeing audiences as metrics rather than people, evidenced by the proliferation of clickbait, false advertising and the like.

To rebuild trust and favour our methodologies need to change, delivering engaging, high-quality content that doesn’t rely on psychological tricks or misdirection.

Embracing innovation

In today's marketing landscape technological innovation is key, with more tools than ever for brands to develop meaningful connections with their customers.

With the development of digital mediums like VR and AR, new avenues for engagement have opened up that the industry professionals of yesteryear could have only dreamt of.

The sense of immediacy and excitement that they elicit is fantastic not only for generating marketing buzz, but also for encouraging trust and goodwill too.

Technology allows us to 'show, not tell', building stronger, more personal narratives that strengthen the relationship between business and consumer.

Honesty and simplicity

Trust is as two-way street, and so businesses and customers alike are finding that a simplified marketing strategy benefits everyone involved.

At a time when people largely expect to be misled, an honest approach can provide the breath of fresh air that jaded audiences desperately need.

In doing so, businesses can improve publicity, manage expectations, and facilitate an improved customer experience overall. 

Here at Luxus it's our mission to simplify digital marketing, and working with clients and audiences to on strong foundations of trust plays a big part in that.

If you want to get more from your digital marketing and technology we're here to help.

Contact us using the information below to get started!