Mobile Campaigns / Mobile Marketing

How To Build Brand Trust

Australia’s marketers can do amazing things when they have access to data about their customers. Mobile marketing and retargeting technologies mean we can create highly targeted mobile ads that reach out to individual customers with specific and relevant messaging. Of course the assumption is that customers are happy for brands to use their personal data to do this, as long as they get something in return. But what if that assumption is wrong? What if consumers are not interested in giving away their data, and don’t trust brands to take care of it? New research from Syniverse suggests just that. We look at what brands have to do to rebuild a foundation of brand trust with their customers.

Consumers make assumptions about what marketers do with their data – assumptions that aren’t always positive. In fact, 75% of respondents to a Syniverse survey said they didn’t trust brands to take care of their data. Security breaches and overstepped boundaries have created this lack of trust in marketers to properly secure customers’ personal information. According to the survey, irrelevant and excessive mobile ads annoy customers and half of the respondents felt that their trust had significantly eroded in recent years. The Syniverse findings send a strong message that the industry has some work to do to rebuild trust and needs to work together to give customers the mobile ads they want. So how can marketers create brand trust?

 

Relevance is key

Consumers trust Google with their emails and personal data because that’s what Google does. The trust they need to give is relevant to the service being provided.  And over time, Google has proven that they can offer more relevant and useful services when they have access to your personal information. Customers are less trusting of huge brands that want your personal information to sell soft drinks or beauty products. They don’t see the relevance. So what’s the difference? Being relevant is instrumental in creating an affinity with your target audience, and eventually their trust. A range of media targeting options allows brands to strike up a conversation on their customers’ terms. Using contextual data allows brands to target customers with a conversation when they have a particular need. Meeting needs builds trust and brand affinity; “They know me and they want to help. I need help so I’m ok with that.”  Brands should ask what they can offer that is highly relevant to their customers’ needs. On mobile devices this is even more important. 37% of respondents to a Quantcast survey said that ads on mobile should be more relevant to them than they are on other devices. Although customer data can help deliver a more relevant message, it helps to build a trust relationship before expecting too much. Brands should focus on building the trust relationship before moving too fast.

 

Think programmatic

Programmatic advertising increasingly allows brands to build relevance into their mobile strategy. Programmatic targeting allows for real-time changes in the message to customers with content tailored based on parameters such as weather, platform, location, and demographics. Given that 82% of Australians think mobile video programming should be tailored and relevant to them, programmatic methods allow advertisers to serve more relevant messages to target audiences and allow brands to resonate with more customers more often. Since message relevancy has huge implications for consumer trust, programmatic can be a key factor in getting consumers to identify with a brand and build an affinity.

 

Offer promotional content.. But not too much

According to the Syniverse findings, there is a growing expectation among consumers that brands should be able to provide more personal services and offers if they collect personal data. Ultimately, customers are generally more willing to provide information when they feel they get something in return. The same sentiment was revealed by a study from Columbia Business School which found that although most consumers actively protect their information, they are still happy to share if it means they receive relevant offers with added value. Delivering good quality, helpful content can certainly help to create brand trust, but it’s important to treat the relationship delicately at this point in the process. Offering consistent and focused content can build brand trust, but messaging customers too often can quickly destroy the relationship. Marketers should look at content as an opportunity to identify what’s relevant, and be careful to not overstep boundaries and annoy consumers. A lot of effort and care is put into building enough trust for customers to engage, a relationship which is then promptly destroyed with careless or over the top messaging.

 

Retarget with care

Retargeting is now a key part of most mobile and digital marketing campaigns. It can be very effective, but it’s also very easy to get it wrong and do a lot of damage to customer relationships and brand trust.  When brands send messages that are overly targeted, suggesting they know too much about their consumers, they can appear aggressive. Marketers should use data respectfully or risk alienating consumers. It’s important to understand boundaries, and treat the data with care and respect. When customers feel like brands are tracking their digital movements, they feel bullied and this sets up a negative impression of the brand. Successful retargeting requires a softer approach that treads the fine line between helpful friend and creepy stalker. It easy to cross a line, and makes customers feel uncomfortable by using too much implicit data, or making too many assumptions about their wants and qualities. Marketers should focus on adding personalised touches based on the information customers know they’ve provided to brands, and think very carefully about targeting based on information customers didn’t realise they were offering.

 

Make dialogue two-sided

Having a real dialogue with your consumers creates a stronger impression than you might imagine, but only if you stay consistent with your brand’s voice. Harriett Cummings says a consistent tone of voice becomes familiar for your customers, and there’s a strong link between familiarity and trust. If a brand can keep a consistent voice, consumers are able to feel more at ease when hearing the brand’s message. While customers crave more authentic engagement than what’s currently on offer, they are the first to recognize when brands are false or disingenuous. Think of developing relationships with customers the way you would with friends – it’s tough to forge long term relationships with friends who change every time you interact with them. It’s paramount for brands to maintain a consistent personality and tone throughout every customer interaction, whether it be on social media platforms or company emails. Another suggestion is to keep interactions on social media to those solicited ‘by the consumer, and to the consumer, rather than from the brand.
Marketers must use data respectfully, and work harder at providing consumers with the mobile ads they want. It’s about having all of the best data for decision making and targeting, but only choosing to use what’s appropriate for building brand trust and genuine relationships with customers. The best way to build brand trust is to use data respectfully, and maintain a consistent brand voice. Stick to targeting customers with the data they know they’re offering and don’t frighten them away by using data they didn’t realise they were sharing. Instead of feeling like their privacy has been invaded, customers will feel at ease, and be happy to engage with the more relevant content and offers that brands are now able provide.

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