Tag Archives: Edelman Digital

Trust These Numbers

The folks at Edelman are out with their latest Trust Barometer and the results are interesting. Of course, one can ask “why are they important?” As the study’s sponsors put it:

Trust is a forward-facing metric of stakeholder expectation. It is an asset that institutions must understand and properly build in order to be successful in today’s complex world.

I agree. So what did they find?

The study surveyed 6,000 “informed publics” aged 25-64 across 27 markets, finding that online search engines are now the most trusted source of general news. Search also widened its lead over newspapers and TV as the first source for general information and the source used by most to confirm and validate news.

In other words, what you and I might consider as traditional media sources of news and information have fallen behind search engines.  Not surprising in some ways since the “always on” version of traditional media is skewed one way or another with respect to how things are reported. The issue with search is “garbage in – garbage out“.  While algorithms tend to give more weight to “credible” sources such as the same traditional media outlets we might discount on other platforms, many of the highly read digital sources pop up on search engine result pages on an equal footing.  The obvious issue is that many of the newer outlets offer as much quality control as a blind man in a paint factory.

That said, once you become a source, you stay there:

  • Friends and family (72%) and academic experts (70%) are the most trusted sources of information consumed by informed publics on social networking sites, content sharing sites, and online-only information sources. Informed publics are almost twice as likely to trust content created by companies they use (60%) as content from brands they don’t use (32%).
  • 8 in 10 informed publics have chosen to buy products and services from a company they trust during the past year, and 68% have recommended them to a friend or colleague.

So whom do you trust?  More importantly, what are you doing to cultivate trust among your stakeholders?

 

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Sharing Is Caring

As you might have guessed from many of the posts here on the screed, how brands should behave in today’s marketing climate is a big focus of mine.  That focus is due to the questions I get asked by my clients on a regular basis both with respect to media and technology.  Which is why I found a recently released study by the folks at Edelman so interesting.

Called brandshare (they used the lower case, it’s not a typo!), the study sampled 11,000 consumers in the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, Brazil, India and China, and evaluated approximately 212 local and multi-national brands.   You can see a slide deck on the study here.  It found that an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of people across eight countries want marketers to more effectively share their brands. Yet on average, only 10 percent of people think any given brand does it well.  As you know, I believe any time we see gaps between expressed consumer desire and actual brand performance, there’s an opportunity.

So what exactly did they mean by “sharing?”  The study measured six dimensions of sharing – shared dialog, shared experience, shared goals, shared values, shared product and shared history – and found a link between effective brand sharing and business value; the greatest business value coming from shared product and shared values.  Obviously it’s not just companies asking for retweets and Facebook shares!

A large majority (91 percent) of respondents said they want to have a hand in the design and development process, with that desire being equal among those in developed and emerging markets. People also want complete openness about product performance with nine out of 10 wanting to know how they are made and how they should perform against competitors.  We’ve talked about transparency before but this demonstrates the extent to which consumers have come to expect it.

Of the six sharing dimensions, shared values has the highest unmet demand among people. More than nine in 10 (92 percent) respondents want to do business with brands that share their beliefs. In addition, nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) want brands to be more transparent about how products are sourced and manufactured, just over four in 10 (43 percent) want brands to do more to give back to their communities.

I think this quote sums it up nicely:

Marketers must evolve from a traditional linear model of focus groups that ends with the consumer to one that involves people at every stage. Brands must also synchronize their brand marketing and corporate communications narrative into one cohesive message, while redesigning current engagement channels to incorporate higher-value sharing.”

So now that you know it, what are you going to do about it?

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