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Want to keep customers? Keep their trust

Technology & Data

Want to keep customers? Keep their trust


Adobe’s ‘2021 Future of Marketing’ has been released, and it reveals trust is key for marketers. Consumer preferences for brands are based on trust, personalisation and privacy.

The research, conducted in August 2021, surveyed 600 Australian marketing leaders and more than 1000 Australian consumers. It found that three in four marketers rely on customer experience to gain consumer trust. As a natural extension of trust, marketers believe that the consumers will then be loyal.

However, consumers have a different opinion. Fifty-seven percent of respondents say that they have cut ties with brands over the past year. This has been primarily drive by the brands not living up to customer experience promises.

Consumers’ trust is now the breaking point for loyalty. 

What is trust based on? 


Trust is primarily entrenched in the consumer’s data. Vice president of marketing at Adobe APAC, Duncan Egan, says, “What we found is, for many Australian consumers, trust in a brand is intrinsically linked to their data – how, when and for what purpose their data is collected and used, whether they have given consent or if they have any control over how their data is used. 

“For Australian marketers, the upshot is that consumer data and trust have never been so entwined and, as a result, able to immediately impact a brand’s bottom line,” says Egan.

How do you earn their trust?


For brands and marketers to earn the trust of their customers, transparency is key. When asked to rank the most important actions brands can take to earn trust, Australian consumers say that they want to be asked permission to have their data collected. Forty-one percent of respondents want to know where their data is being used. 

One third of Australian consumers want to know how their data is being collected and then monetised. The good news is that this aligns with what most marketers are already doing, which is giving consumers the ability to control this. Marketers are explaining the benefits that customers receive with data collection and also providing them with tools to adjust their own privacy settings. This two-way street of communication is the way forward in creating a trusting relationship between consumer and business.

How do you break their trust?


As in life, trust can be easy to get and easy to break. But, for consumers, it’s simple. Almost half of Australian consumers label it ‘creepy’ when brands are tracking their devices without permission. 

Sending emails, texts and communications without the consent of users and consumers is also a clear way to lose trust. Forty-one percent say when brands don’t listen to them, they lose trust. This is in the form of continuing to send communications or ads once consumers have opted out. 

What to do when trust is earned?


The good news for marketers is that when trust is earned, it will pay off. Seventy-one percent of Australians say they will continue to buy from a brand if they feel that it can be trusted. Sixty-six percent will make a positive recommendation and roughly fifty percent will join a loyalty program.

Customer experience is at the forefront of expectations that consumers have. Outside of how they’re treated when they walk into a brick and mortar store, it’s about ensuring that their information is protected. Being open about what will happen with consumers’ data and providing tangible benefits (such as rewards programs) in exchange for data are some of the steps to take to earn, and keep, trust.

Liv Croagh

Liv Croagh was the Managing Editor of Marketing Mag from September 2021 to September 2023.

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