You might have noticed that we’ve been talking about trust a lot. See our popular Trust Webinar by CLICKING HERE.  We focus on the data and science of trust, researching questions on this topic for our media seller customers. We’re on the front lines of advertiser sentiment about trust: Whether consumer opinion about the trustworthiness of specific platforms will influence media planning, whether budget allocation shifts based on trust in a publisher, whether trust is a factor in deciding where to advertise.

When we step back and look at the cumulative research that we’ve compiled, we’re seeing three points that we can’t ignore:

  1. 57% of large ad platforms’ advertisers (who are also personal users of that brand) have either expressed misgivings about personal use risks and/or decreased personal use of those same brands. But our research also shows, while Sally Smith, CMO of Big Brand Inc., may have decreased  her personal use of a certain social media  platform because she’s worried about  her privacy and data, she continues to use that exact ad platform for Big Brand advertising.
  2. 81% of advertisers currently (or will within the next 6 months) evaluate ad platforms based on trust related criteria.
  3. The top source that advertisers use to gauge consumer trust in media platforms is professional peers (word of mouth).

Friends, what we have here is the rich potential for a trust snowball.

While personal opinion about the trustworthiness of media platforms isn’t yet influencing professional decision-making, all signs point to this happening soon. The trust snowball has started its slow roll and will continue to grow as advertisers talk among themselves about consumer trust in media platforms.

Standing in the path of that snowball, there are two key things media sellers need to wrap their heads around:

  1. This is serious. This is a legitimate shift that’s happening. It’s not random. It’s important.
  2. What’s your cred when it comes to trust and transparency? How would you grade your own platform? Are you willing to work with third party verification partners? How is your own verification reporting? Tracking industry sentiment about your brand might be a sensible metric to look into.

There’s no doubt that issues of trust will continue to drive discussions for consumers and advertisers alike. Take a personal and professional inventory on where you stand on the issue so you can be prepared for the roll of that snowball as it picks up speed in the next few years.