How can your company work to build trust in marketing communications?

In March, I wrote about the advertising trust gap and how companies can work to bridge it. More data has come up this week indicating a significant gap in the way that consumers perceive advertising vs. the way businesses think that consumers perceive advertising. Survey data from Nielsen indicates that businesses believe that 43% consumers believe the contents of advertising “Most of the Time”. Only 14% consumers say that they believe advertising “Most of the Time”. That’s a significant gap, but I wouldn’t necessarily take it at face value because it is a word based statistic and not an action tracking based statistic. Nevertheless, it would still be a rational conclusion that businesses may be overvaluing the trust that consumers have in advertising materials.

The Nielsen data also challenged a notion from a BrightLocal survey that online reviews are as powerful as personal recommendations from people they know. In terms of trustworthiness, people’s personal connections take the top spot on trustworthiness, but online reviewers come in 2nd. In terms of the various marketing channels, company websites and opt in emails are viewed as most reputable.

This points to the validity of the distributed marketing model, as the infographic from the top link listed 19 potential means of advertising, and that list was not all encompassing. In one of our 2012 whitepapers, we identified 26 potential means of advertising. Whether there are 19, 26 or some other high number of advertising channels, all of this points of one of the greatest pain points for organizations now. Organizations of all sizes are having a difficult time managing, optimizing and distributing content for all of these potential channels.

Choosing which channels to use and optimizing and distributing for a high number of channels are items that are challenging. The use of marketing automation is one measure to ease the pain and increase marketing efficiency in an environment where complexity keeps increasing. Looking at today’s data, it is another data point that speaks to the efficacy of email marketing, especially when it is combined with a strong corporate website presence and the ability for a target market to find the corporate website. Email marketing can be considered the heart of a lot of outbound marketing communications efforts, and if email messaging is integrating with other channels such as social media, video and print, it can be more powerful and serve to drive additional revenue. This occurs because integrated and optimized efforts across channels can work to develop a perception of a branded product that can lead to good experiences, creating the means for positive word of mouth, which is often spread more quickly than before through digital means.