London 21st February, 2012 – Despite a tumultuous year for trust, technology remains the most trusted industry sector globally, with telecommunications remaining in the top five, according to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer. The Barometer, Edelman’s 12th annual trust and credibility survey, was produced by research firm StrategyOne.
Among the general population technology, at 76% is most trusted sector, while telecommunications was fifth at 58%. Predictably, trust in banks and financial services were the lowest amongst industry sectors, with 47% and 43% respectively.
People’s trust in telecoms and technology brands can be linked to the critical role communications and technology are playing in every aspect of their personal and professional lives. For an emerging class of tech savvy individuals, it is the life blood for their creative and collective lives. Generation ME has focused on information sharing and digital entertainment as core products and come to rely on content and connectivity from technology and telecommunications companies to be their source of enjoyment as well as a core element of their employment going forward.
The intersection of content and communications
In addition to this the Trust Barometer shows that regular employees and everyday peers have emerged as a well trusted source. These findings mean that more than ever we should reach out to the public to encourage them to tell their stories for the world to see. Members of Generation ME are now the ideal spokespeople for brands and by appealing to them; businesses can create conversations and communities where before it was only possible to broadcast corporate messaging.
“As multi-platform content continues in its ascendancy, mobile is clearly the preferred channel for seamless sharing,” said Jon Hargreaves, managing director, Edelman Europe. “Trust is the critical issue the mobile industry must address. In particular tackling the thorny the issues of privacy and security is vital to sustaining trust in mobile content and services.”
At the center of this new proposition is content, encapsulating videos and images, blog posts and social media. Edelman believes that every company can become a media company across multiple platforms to reach a much broader audience than ever before. Whether communicating through traditional media such as newspapers and their online equivalents, or through brands’ owned media and social networks, we can help navigate the complexity that has emerged through developments in technology.
Opportunities for Engagement
Content created across multiple screens (tablets, connected TVs, smartphones etc) is now regularly used by today’s media to bring insight where traditional means fall short. Technology has helped enfranchise millions of people and they are discovering increasingly innovative ways to create content from sending phones into near space or attaching professional lenses to shoot movie quality videos. The smartphone has quickly embedded itself as the most important electrical device available.
There is now an opportunity for brands to seize everything that makes a smartphone amazing in order to re-evaluate their proposition to their customers. By creating new services and new ways to engage with companies, brands can make themselves heard across an ever-broadening spectrum. There has also never been such importance placed upon building brand advocacy, as to not engage with the public is to hand significant advantage to competitors.
Through entering the conversation and playing on the same field as these digital natives, brands can both build their trust and be an authentic voice that is increasingly influential not just in pushing product but creating a lasting engagement with the individuals who like and want to know more about their brand. Technology, telecoms and trust are redefining brand opportunities and showing that all of these things are now closely intertwined, and demonstrating understanding of this new environment is critical to communicating beyond traditional means.