New Dimensions in Consumer Trust

Consumers trust advertisers and advertising* to varying degrees.   What creates (or dissipates) trust in advertisers and advertising is complex and mysterious.   It may be a simplification of the discussion, but in the past, consumer trust in advertisers and advertising had something to do with how well the “promise of the offer” met the “reality of the offer” (and all the perceptions therein).

This is not to say the “promise-to-reality” quotient is no longer a key factor in how consumers feel about advertisers or adverting.  It is.   There are; however, especially with web 2.0 (or is it 3.0?), other forces evolving and contributing to the trust conversation.   One of them is Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA).

While OBA can deliver value for both advertisers and consumers, OBA is also causing consumers to become more aware of what advertisers know about them.   In turn, this awareness is causing consumers to become increasing sensitive to how their information is gathered and used.   This sensitivity is influencing how consumers feel about (read: trust) not only the advertising they are presented with, but the advertisers, as well.

There are ways advertisers can create consumer trust when it comes to using and collecting consumer information.  Transparency, choice (consumer control), and accountability are the main ones.

Advertisers that use OBA with transparency, choice (consumer control), and accountability will become more trustworthy in their use of consumer information; those that don’t won’t.

Using OBA compliance solutions such as DoubleVerify’s will inure to the benefit of the advertiser and advertisement; what’s more it will also inure to the benefit of the advertising industry.  It’s a four way win (advertising, advertiser, industry and the consumer).  Win Win Win Win.  How often does that happen?

*- “advertising and advertisers” refers to all players in the advertising ecosystem.  It also includes networks, platforms, exchanges, and so on.

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