In brands we trust

The subject of trust permeated many of last week’s biggest news stories. Whether it was George Osborne asking for understanding over his “tough but fair” budget, or England players asking fans to keep the faith, the quest and request for trust was a common thread.

Trust, and the pursuit of it, is always a key concern for marketers. Consumers that trust brands will stay brand loyal and that much any entry-level marketer could tell you.

It is also true that consumers that trust brands are also more likely to offer information about themselves, an essential commodity for all direct marketers aiming for well-targeted campaigns.

According to fast.MAP/DMA research, three-quarters of consumers are happy to share their personal information for marketing purposes with companies with which they have a relationship.

They also believe the brands they know well will treat their personal data with respect. When buying online, 84% are confident that brands they trust will treat their personal details responsibly.

More data, coupled with better analytics, will improve targeting and, ultimately, direct response, again basic stuff. But herein lies a challenge. One of the essential pillars in fostering trust should be appropriate and measured communication with consumers, existing and prospective.

Good targeting equals happier consumers, increased levels of trust, an increased willingness to provide data leading to, you guessed it, better targeting. The ultimate virtuous circle.

Consumers are increasingly wary of direct mail, both physical and electronic, and their, arguably misguided, perception is that volumes are on the increase.

It pays, therefore to earn their trust. As the Jack Byrne character in ’Meet the Parents’ would attest to, then direct marketers would be welcome in the “circle of trust”.

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