With so many options for products and services in our marketplace today, brands need to consider the wants and needs of its customers in order to stand out above the crowds. That’s where trust comes in. It’s a critical component in turning a prospect into a customer and, ultimately, an advocate.
But what is trust? In the simplest terms, trust is about how people view your brand, what they think about the people that represent your brand, the values you stand for, and how that makes them feel.
The impact of trust on brands
When people trust your brand, they see it as a reliable option, they feel good about engaging with your company, and they seek out more opportunities to interact with you. Lack of trust has a real impact on your brand.
When consumers mistrust your brand, they may not follow through on their purchases, they may be leery of sharing personal information with you, and they might turn instead to one of your competitors. Trust—or more accurately, the lack of it—hits the bottom line.
When consumers mistrust your brand, they may not follow through on their purchases, they may be leery of sharing personal information with you, and they might turn instead to one of your competitors.
Unfortunately, we’re experiencing something of a consumer trust crisis. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, only 48% of the general population in the U.S. trusts businesses, falling from 58% last year and with a general downward trend over the past decade.
Personalization is a balance
We now have many ways to personalize the experience that consumers have with our brand, which is obviously a positive. There’s incredible value in “know thy customer” for both your consumer and your brand.
But how much is too much personalization? And how do you offer personalization the right way in order to secure your consumers’ trust?
The Accenture Pulse Check survey of more than 8,000 global consumers revealed that 83 percent of consumers are willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience “as long as businesses are transparent about how they are going to use it and customers have control over it.” This is good news.
Consumers are looking for and expecting personalized experiences more than ever. And the availability of mountains of data makes it easier for us marketers to anticipate needs and reach out to customers proactively. But privacy is a concern. The onus is on agencies and brands to be transparent and deliver a personalized experience that doesn’t feel intrusive.
Common sense must prevail here. If you wouldn’t do it in the physical world, don’t do it in the digital world. And don’t treat your customers as personas, but as real people. You can read more about how to do that in our Minding the Empathy Gap ebook.
For more information about how to personalize your interactions with customers, download a copy of our free ebook, 5 Ways to Create Personalized Content, which explains how to best implement five types of personalized content into your marketing plan.