6 Truths for Building Digital Trust

December 3, 2021

For all of us living, working and creating in the digital space, there is one great truth that we’re collectively facing: People are skeptical about how digital marketing impacts their personal privacy. It’s why we’ve been talking about building first-party data pools and the doom of third-party cookies.

But there’s an important piece of the conversation that gets overlooked: the need to build digital trust with our consumers. In a recent webinar hosted by Convince and Convert, they defined “digital trust” as the authentic and transparent exchange of value between the brand and customer. In other words, a really great experience. 

Here’s a recap of their six considerations for building digital trust.

  1. Saturation does not build trust. Simply doing more digital marketing does not equal better customer experiences. In fact, having a poor interaction over and over again is going to do more harm than good. Everyone needs to be thinking about quality versus just quantity, and making every interaction a positive one that leads to desired outcomes, not just for brands but for people. 
  2. There’s no such thing as a pandemic pass. If you’ve been banking on consumers cutting you some slack, think again. 72% of companies say customer expectations have gone up since COVID. Times are tough; learn to deal.
  3. We’ve got a long way to go. Okay, this one hurts. According to Convince and Convert, 66% of consumers cannot recall a time when ANY brand exceeded their expectations. Pause for reflection. So even if we think we’re doing a great job, chances are we’re falling short. Which leads me to the next point …
  4. Start with what your audience wants. Retrofitting technology or digital solutions just isn’t going to work. Consumers know what they want, and they expect you to deliver. We need to really listen and understand, and then find the solutions that meet their demands.
  5. Be proactive. This is where content meets automation, and why I love partnering with Michelle Miles, principal Atlas consultant and automation extraordinaire at Ciceron. We don’t need to wait for consumers to tell us what they want. We can quickly adapt and customize communications based on the behaviors they are exhibiting. The key is to do it thoughtfully and ensure you are delivering experiences that provide real value. It’s the difference between digital trust and just plain creepy. 
  6. Never forget to be human. Empathy is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. It’s worth reminding ourselves what it really means. It’s not about being polite or assuming the customer is always right. Having empathy is the ability to understand and share someone’s feelings. Hopefully, we’re all moving to a place where we know more about our consumers. When we look at the data, we need to push beyond the obvious and think about what it’s telling us on a human level.

There are so many exciting innovations happening in digital targeting, media and technology. But without a creative, empathetic and expectation-exceeding experience to go with it, we will continue to see a weakening of digital trust.

Meghan Gates