There has been a huge fall in how much people trust institutions and businesses in the last 12 months – the biggest fall on record, according to the latest Edelman trust barometer. That’s not surprising given the current and recent geo-political and economic events.
Edelman, the global marketing agency, publishes its trust barometer which is a survey of tens of thousands of people around the world. The barometer measures the trust people have in institutions and businesses. The barometer is worth a read and can be found here.
If you are interested in communications and marketing, then the research has some interesting insights.
Overall, 75% of respondents agree that a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community where it operates. Organisations have an important role to play in building trust with customers and the communities they operate in. These are the most popular factors in building trust in a company:
- Treats employees well
- Offers high quality products and services
- Listens to customers
- Has ethical business practices
These are all areas that can be supported by your content strategy. How do you talk about the employee experience? How do you articulate the value and quality of your products and services? How do you let customers know that they have been listened to?
The research also shows that the most trusted person to comment on the following topics is the employee.
- Treatment of employees/customers
- Financial earnings and operational performance
- Business practices/crisis handling
- Innovation efforts
- Views on industry issues
How many organisations put employees at the heart of their communications? These are all areas where you can start to develop the voice of your employees. They are, after all, the people who know the most about your organisation, products and services and the market.
The barometer also shows how that people prefer to be spoken with, not to as it is more credible. And they prefer more direct ways of communication. They want:
- Spontaneous vs rehearsed speaker
- Blunt and outspoken vs diplomatic and polite
- Personal experience over data
- And social media over advertising
One final, and critical, takeaway is that people want organisations to work with them. That means focusing on how you can help them rather than telling them how good you and your products are. This represents a shift for your communications and content marketing away from ‘our products are great’ to ‘how our products can make you great’.