Report: Digital trust has a long way to go

​In the wake of increased digital marketing following mandatory isolation, new research shows six in 10 consumers say they are less inclined to use a product if their data is used for any purpose

In the wake of increased digital marketing following mandatory isolation, new research shows six in 10 consumers are less inclined to use a product if their data is used for any purpose.

While digital marketing is now vital in the wake of COVID-19 and the shutdown this has caused, consumer trust still has a long way to go, so marketers need to get smarter when it comes to targeting and messaging.  

New research released by GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, found on average two times more consumers say TV ads provide a more positive impression of brands than common digital formats. The research also showed 56 per cent of consumers want more control over their data, and 64 per cent  would have a negative opinion of a brand next to inappropriate content.

Consumer Trust in Digital Marketing surveyed nearly 14,000 consumers in 23 countries including Australia. It revealed consumers react more positively to television advertising and more than one-third of consumers (37 percent) feel digital ads are too intrusive. 

Regarding digital marketing concerns, top challenges include fake news on social media, cyber-bullying and online predators. Seventy-five per cent of consumers believe it is a digital platform’s responsibility to stop inappropriate content from appearing. 

The research shows changing privacy settings and deleting cookies and browser history – areas informing digital advertising – are on the rise, and consumers are receiving more communication from brands than desired. 

GroupM said marketers should work to optimise the customer experience by tailoring the frequency and the types of messages, marketers should continue to consider whether the online advertising platforms they are using are appropriate for the type of brand content they’re creating, and marketers may need to offer incentives and communicate the benefits of sharing data more convincingly.

There are also big differences of opinion across markets. For example, an average of 59 per cent of consumers globally appreciate receiving discounts and offers, but only 20 per cent appreciate invitations to complete satisfaction surveys. Seventy-five per cent of consumers in New Zealand said they would be less willing to buy or use a product or service if companies used their personal data, whereas only 38 per cent of consumers in Indonesia said the same.  

It said marketers need to focus on using the right digital platforms to reach consumers, to be transparent about how data is gathered and used, and to think holistically about the many media venues where they can build consumer relationships.  

“With pervasive reports of data security and privacy missteps, consumers are increasingly wary of information gathering about them as they move online,”  GroupM global CEO, Christian Juhl, said.

“Media has evolved dramatically and it’s crucial the industry work collaboratively to make advertising work better for people around the world. As marketers, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we are using consumer information responsibly and transparently.”

Venessa Hunt, GroupM Chief Digital Strategy officer, says it has never been more important to focus on quality and brand safety across all media.

"When we focus on the right quality metrics, digital has the most personal connection and a great ability to drive brand growth. This report emphasises the need for marketers to consider whether the online advertising environments in which they appear are appropriate to them. This is a fundamental pillar of good media planning and more rigour should be placed around where your digital advertising is seen – just as it is in every other marketing channel.

“We know that trust is essential in relationships between brands, consumers, and media channels. Using data to understand the consumer, and using that insight to provide a better advertising experience on digital channels, is critical to marketers. But there is a distinct line between personalisation and invasion. While Australians may be more risk averse than other nations to providing data to companies and have concerns on how their data is being used, as marketers we need to understand that, respect it and take the opportunity to harness relevancy and contextual placement.” 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

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