GroupM: 'Consumer Trust In Digital Marketing Is Not As High As We Hoped'

WPP media arm GroupM is out with a new report on consumer trust in digital marketing that finds that more than half (56%) of those surveyed want more control over their data and that 60% said they are less inclined to use a product if the brand uses their data for any purpose.

The report, “Consumer Trust In Digital Marketing,” is based on a survey of 14,000 consumers in 23 countries.

On average, per the report, more consumers (by a margin of 2 to 1) say TV ads provide a more positive impression of brands than digital formats. And 64% would have a negative opinion of a brand with messaging next to inappropriate content.

More than one-third of consumers (37%) feel digital ads are too intrusive.

The research shows that consumers are increasingly deleting cookies and browser history –tracking units and behaviors that have been key components in digital advertising. And the report concludes that if companies wish to continue using consumers’ data, they’ll likely need to offer incentives and communicate the benefits of data sharing more convincingly. Being transparent about consumer data usage could help foster a new relationship of trust in the digital marketing process, per the report.



The study surmises that “marketers need to focus on using the right digital platforms to reach consumers, to be transparent about how data is gathered and used, and to think holistically about the many media venues where they can build consumer relationships.”

The research found that top consumer concerns include fake news on social media, cyberbullying and online predators.

Three-quarters of respondents believe that it is a digital platform’s responsibility to stop inappropriate content from appearing. And marketers need to take proactive steps to ensure they’re setting parameters around ad placements that build marketing effectiveness and protect brand value.

“Consumer trust in digital marketing is not as high as we hoped,” the report concludes.  And that’s a problem, it adds because “There is a clear correlation between trust and brand value.”

 It urges brands to “think about how they can do things differently to build a responsible digital marketing ecosystem for the future, based on trust.”

The report, authored by Chris Myers, regional director, GroupM APAC, was being prepared for release as the COVID-19 crises was morphing into a worldwide pandemic. Survey respondents were not quizzed about its impact.

That said, the health crisis “will likely increase consumers’ scrutiny of the direct communications they receive from brands,” the report states. “This will require even closer management of the customer experience, including the nature of the content, levels of personalization and frequency.”


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