Consumer trust in brands has fallen 3% year on year, and now half of UK consumers find it difficult to know which brands to trust.
New research released today undertaken by Pure360 and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reveals 49% of UK consumers find it difficult to know which brands to trust, and year on year, consumer trust in brands has fallen by 3%. The decline is most pronounced amongst 16-24 year olds at 5%.
Other key findings include:
• 51% of UK consumers trust marketing communications they receive over email, making it the most trusted channel ahead of face-to-face discussion, postal communication and Instagram
• 64% of consumers find the messages they receive over email are relevant to them, making it the most relevant channel
• When it comes to trusting marketing messages, company reputation is the most important factor, followed by simple to understand information and customer reviews
The Customer Engagement: Acquisition and the consumer mindset 2018 report looks at which channels brands can take advantage of to boost their relevance with their audience, as well as ensuring consumers trust their message. The findings revealed that the two most effective ways to encourage consumers to respond to marketing messages is to keep said messages short and interesting. 48% of consumers said they were most likely to respond to short messages, while 44% said they responded to interesting content topics. By contrast celebrity endorsement is, in the opinion of consumers, the least likely method to get them to respond to marketing messages (3%).
Trust and relevance
To counteract consumers’ falling trust, brands need to ensure they are using trusted marketing channels when communicating with their audience. 51% of UK consumers trust marketing communications they receive over email, making it the most trusted channel, followed closely by face-to-face discussion (51%), postal communication (51%) and Instagram (46%). The research also uncovered that 64% of consumers find that the messages they receive over email are relevant to them, making it the most relevant channel, followed by Instagram and Facebook (50%). More intrusive channels like phone calls (28%) and instant messaging apps (33%) were also perceived as providing less relevant content by consumers, showing a clear path for brands looking to build good rapport with consumers.
Across all marketing channels, the figures reveal a positive correlation between the relevance of marketing messages and trust in those brands and their messages. Meaning that when people receive relevant messages to them they are more likely to trust that brand in the long run. When it comes to trusting marketing messages specifically, UK consumers most value company reputation (42%), followed by simple to understand information (38%) and customer reviews (38%), highlighting some of the brand owned paths to improving consumer trust.
Komal Helyer, Marketing Director, Pure360 commented, “Marketers need to ensure they are consciously building trust with their consumers. What is clear from the research is that email messaging still holds a unique position in the minds of consumers, as they consistently prefer email messages and trust them to contain relevant information. The research shows that for brands who are looking to develop two-way communication short and interesting messages are the key to encouraging responses rather than working with celebrities or other more gimmicky engagement tactics.”
In June 2018, Foresight Factory conducted, on behalf of the DMA, an online survey of 2,016 respondents exploring public attitudes towards the future of customer engagement. Unless referenced, all data included in this report is taken from this survey. For this research, Foresight Factory set interlocking nationally representative quotas on age, gender and region. This ensured the sample was representative of the UK population. Weighting was also applied to further ensure a nationally representative sample. The analysis of the data was conducted in-house by Foresight Factory’s quantitative analysis team.