Consumers No Longer Trust Brand Data Strategies

2/3 of the French expect brands to engage with social media to protect them against “fake news”, according to the “Trust Barometer” led by the agency Elan Edelman. However, consumers do not give a blank check to the brands whose practices they challenge.

The survey, conducted among 9,000 people in nine countries, reveals that brands are now feeling the repercussions of widespread loss of trust in social networks around the world, particularly in France. 66% of the French want the brands to engage with social networks to protect them against fake news – versus 70% of people polled around the world. 67% also expect brands to effectively preserve their personal data and 64% to protect them from offensive content.

“Brands are the new democracy Consumers expect brands to defend values, not just add value, they want them to take action to improve the way social networks work, simply because an advertiser has more power than a single person, “says the firm, in a statement. People’s confidence in social media is therefore low. Only 41% of respondents worldwide say they trust social networks, a level that falls to only 25% in France, one of the lowest rates in the United Kingdom (24%).

What are the elements that undermine user trust in social networks? Identity theft (69% in France, 71% worldwide), fake news (67% in France, 69% worldwide), cyber-bullying and hate speech (65% in France, 69% in the world) are the main reasons put forward. Only 40% of people polled around the world rely on social networking platforms to effectively remedy fake news and hate speech (39% in France), and most of them (60% ) do not trust the willingness of these platforms to make responsible use of user data (62% in France). As a result, four out of ten respondents (France and the world) have already deleted at least one social media account in the past year because they did not trust the platform’s willingness to process their personal data.

“Marketing techniques” rejected by consumers

But, brands are not spared by the crisis of trust of individuals: “The consumer is now rejecting all data-driven marketing techniques, including long-accepted universal practices such as loyalty programs”, remarks Edelman, evidence to support. For example, 54% of respondents do not want their in-store purchases tracked for marketing targeting, a figure that explodes to 67% in France. 80% of them also consider it unfavorable that a brand could buy their personal data to another company, or even consider that this should be prohibited (71% worldwide). 62% of French people say that they are not ready to give up some of the confidentiality of their data to benefit from a more personalized buying experience when it concerns on average only half of the people in the world ( 49%).

“Consumers do not plan to give up social networks, but they want to change the game of platforms,” said Alexandre Faure, Elan Edelman’s Head of Digital, in the same statement, “Brands Must Protect Consumers from Attempted Exploitation”. and have four levers for this: to demand reliable information, to commit their advertising budgets exclusively to platforms offering qualitative and non-defamatory content, to demand visibility on the treatment of data collection and use of personal data and, finally, ask for maximum transparency around their famous’ influencers’ ‘”.

Methodology: The 2018 “Trust Barometer” is conducted with 33,000 people in 28 countries, by consulting firm Edelman Intelligence, via 25-minute online interviews. In each country, a first sample consisted of 1,150 respondents representing the general population over the age of 18 plus a second sample of “informed public” individuals (500 in the United States and China, and 200 in all other countries). The conditions to be fulfilled for belonging to the “informed public” are the following: age group 25-64 years, higher education, income per household in the upper quartile for the age and the country concerned, consumption of press and economic media/news and monitoring of political news at least several times a week. This is the 18th edition of this annual survey on public confidence in companies and organizations and their credibility.

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