Trust and the Future of Marketing in the Era of the Connected Individual

Trust and the Future of Marketing in the Era of the Connected Individual

Business and marketing are driven by data. We’re amassing massive amounts of data to target people with advertising, engage them on social media sites, interact with them directly, and to power predictive-automated marketing models. This will enable us to reach and sell people at the micro-moments that matter. Yet, I wonder how many marketers consider the relationship between data collection efforts and the importance of trust in the relationships they build with their audience and the people they serve.

We know that establishing trust with people is crucial. If people trust your business they’ll be more inclined to share data with you, which will make it easier for you to serve them. Yet, we’re clearly not doing enough to assuage their distrust.

Last year, Edelman reported that “71% of people thought most companies with access to their personal data did not use it ethically.”

In January 2017 PEW Research Center found that 51% of people don’t trust the ability of social sites to protect their data. Furthermore, for first party relationships like brands and retailers, the results are not that much better with 36% of people reporting that they are not confident that companies/retailers can protect their data, and only 14% are confident in their ability to do so. 

So what? You ask. Well, a 2016 MEF study showed that 33% of the study’s subjects have canceled a commercial transaction for fear of their data being misused. In other words, a lack of trust in your business may be directly linked to lost revenue.

The challenge, however, is that marketers are taking advantage of people. The vast majority of people don’t understand cybersecurity risks.

See if you do. Take the PEW Internet cybersecurity test. Only 1% of us (see my score below) score 10 of 10.

Here’s the challenge for the day, ask yourself, do the people you serve trust you and your business? How do you know?  Getting answers to this question will be critical as you look to reach and engage people in the age of the connected individual.

Title Image by VIN JD from Pixabay

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Michael Becker is an intentionally recognized identity & personal information management solutions strategic advisor, speaker, entrepreneur, and academic. He advises companies on personal information economy business strategy, product development, business development, and sales & marketing strategies. He also represents them at leading trade groups, including the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. Michael is an advisor to Assurant, Predii, Privowny, and Phoji. He is the co-author of Mobile Marketing for Dummies and a number of other books and articles related to mobile marketing, identity, and personal information management. He is on the faculty of marketing of the Association of National Advertisers and National University. A serial entrepreneur, Michael founded Identity Praxis, co-founded mCordis and The Connected Marketer Institute, was a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and was on the MMA board of directors for ten years and was MMA’s North American Managing Director for three years. In 2004, Michael co-founded iLoop Mobile, a leading messaging solutions provider. In 2014, Michael was awarded the 2014 Marketing EDGE Edward Mayer Education Leadership Award for his commitment to marketing education.

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