Lasting relationships are built on trust, and trust is earned
Brands that want lasting relationships need to take the critical steps necessary to first build consumer trust in this age of ad fraud.
The goal of any brand is to drive sustainable, profitable growth, and the goal of any agency is to help brands achieve this. One of the best ways to grow revenue and remain profitable is to establish a loyal repeat customer base. In fact, repeat customers are worth 67 percent more than new customers.
To retain these customers, brands need to focus on building lasting relationships in an authentic way.
This is often easier said than done. Consumers know when brands aren’t being authentic—they’ve been receiving sales-oriented ads for years. At the same time, consumers want more than just a one-time transaction. They want to build a relationship with a brand they trust and that provides them with value.
According to research conducted by Edelman, 62 percent of consumers are loyal to brands they trust. Building trust needs to be every marketer’s top priority as consumer behaviors shift. For example, if you had asked anyone a few years ago if they’d stay in a stranger’s home on their vacation rather than a hotel, or get in a random car with a stranger, they would certainly have said no. But companies such as Airbnb and Uber have built consumer trust and changed consumer behavior. How? By delivering on a service as they promised. In fact, 73 percent of consumers trust a given brand because it delivers quality products or services.
This concept also applies to your brand’s advertising efforts. Companies ask users for certain data so they can offer them enhanced experiences. But if they don’t deliver on those enhanced experiences or they collect more data than permitted, they won’t be trusted. According to Ogury’s Reality Report, 90 percent of consumers find targeted marketing messages intrusive and annoying.
So how can marketers stop annoying consumers and start delivering the enhanced experiences they deserve? By following three straightforward guidelines:
Give users a choice.
Consumers deserve a clear and fair choice when it comes to the data they share with brands and the messages they receive. Today’s consumer is more aware than ever of the value their data holds. This awareness is inextricably linked to high profile public scandals and deceitful data-handling practices. Consumers know big companies use data to target them with ads without permission.
If marketers want to build trust, they need to give users the choice of whether they want to share their data with them. In our industry, that means via consent notices. But the unfortunate reality is that for most organizations, the quality of their consent forms is an afterthought at best. They're often too long, too obscure and too confusing for consumers. The Reality Report showed 78 percent of users don't read them in their entirety.
Marketers can stop annoying consumers by simply asking for their permission in a clear, concise manner before collecting their data or sending them ads. Providing them with a choice and proving the value exchange will build trust and enable brands to reach consumers with useful recommendations instead of “annoying ads.”
Reach consumers with quality creative in fraud-free environments.
Reliable data provided by consent can help create premium mobile experiences. Marketers can use this data to understand the humans behind the screen and reach them with relevant, authentic messages. But that is only useful if these messages are displayed to real humans and not fake users.
Today, up to $19 billion of ad spend is wasted due to fraud. This is predicted to rise to $44 billion by 2022. Marketers are rightfully afraid. Fraud is their No. 1 concern when it comes to in-app advertising. In fact, 45 percent of media agency decision-makers and 37 percent of brand marketers say addressing ad fraud is their top priority in 2019.
To deal with ad fraud, marketers should only serve ads to real users who have explicitly opted in to share data and receive marketing messages. Second, they need to vet all parties involved in the marketing chain and stick to the companies that have a strong track record of fraud-free execution. Finally, marketers should use third-party technology to monitor all impressions served and ensure they reach real humans, not bots.
Don’t be lured by short-term gains; aim for lasting relationships built on trust.
Giving users clear and fair options and respecting the choices they make—to share data or not, to receive ads or not—throughout the marketing life cycle will enable brands to build long-term thriving businesses. Why? Because their business will be based on a fair value exchange and trust that’s been earned between brands and consumers.