If you haven't seen it before this research is the Edelman Trust Barometer and it comes out every year, so you have a last year, this year comparison as well as the this year research.

This was published on the 25th June, so right in the middle of the lockdown and as part of the pandemic.  The sample is from 22,000 people across 11 markets, so pretty large.

You can access it here.

The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020 


Here is a summary of what it says....

Brand Trust is Earned, not Bought 

Earned media is the battleground where trust is won or lost. Personal experience and earned media were found to be the most important factors in the gain or loss of trust amongst respondents. Influence is built through authority and empathy, with industry experts and people like themselves rated as most credible 

What that means is that Brands are built, not on corporate content where the brand says "buy us because we are great".  Why?  Because every brand says that.

If you are investing in your brand then you need to empower your people on-line to talk in an authentic way.  Not talking about your brand, but talking about what they want to say.

If, as a brand you want influence, then you need to empower your people to talk on social and they need to be insightful, tell me things I don't know and be educational.

I'm not saying this, the research is.

So what about advertising? The research says this ...

Advertising’s effect has become diminished. Now, nearly 7 in 10 say that they use one or more advertising avoidance strategies. The shift from 2018 to 2020 has shown double digit increases from those who avoid ads by using ad blocking technology (+10 pts), paying for streaming services (+15pts) or findings ways to avoid almost all ads (+12pts)

In other words, we hate advertising and we all use ad-blockers so we don't see ads.

Let's not forget that advertising is interrupt marketing.  I interrupt you broadcast my message, which is "buy my product because it's great".  People are inundated with these messages everyday.

So you can have the best photos in the world and the best copy in the world and have used the best advertising agency in the world ..... but you are just another message, which we have blocked.

There is of course the Facebook Ads campaign which is about the fact that your brand could be up against hate speech.  Not a great thing for a brand to be seen to support. 

But There is More - A Business Case Maybe?

In this interview with Danielle Guzman who is Global Head of Social Media for Mercer and we discuss "5 Things to Kick Start Your Employee Advocacy Program" and she shares the value they have gained from empowering their employees with social media.

Mercer are getting 3 to 4 times the attributed revenue than the brand generates.  Can you believe that? If the brand is creating $10 million, then empowering your team on social will generate $40 million.

There could be a business case there, even to use an outside company to help you. Hint, hint. ;)

The Word Has Changed However Much You Deny It

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said

"As COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our work and life, we've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months," 

So what as a marketer and a sales leader are you going to do about it? 

To quote my good friend Larry Levine

"has the window of relevancy closed with many of your customers and prospects?"

You can find me on social here