Global Advertiser Conference 2010: Insights on sustainability, trust and transparency

Joseph Clift

Three key areas of focus emerged over the day's presentations at the WFA/RVD Global Advertiser Conference, held in Istanbul in April 2010: trust, sustainability and transparency.
 
Boosting performance in these areas, whether on the agency side or the client side, was seen by presenters as crucial for future growth.
 
The concepts have attained greater importance due to general societal concerns, sharpened by the global economic slowdown, and developments in web use, specifically the proliferation of online conversations.
 
 
Building brand trust
 
According to presenters, brand trust has become a key metric for many firms.
 
This trend has big implications for traditional marketers. After all, trust scores can be boosted through CRM - performed via helplines, official websites and profiles on third party social networking sites - as well as through ad campaigns.
 
Millward Brown: Why trust is important
 
In his Global Advertiser Conference presentation, Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Millward Brown, pointed out that well-known, strong brands tend to be trusted more by consumers.
 
Moreover, the quality of trust is very important in keeping a brand "alive and relevant", Walshe said. "Maybe we need to think about understanding our consumers and making sure our brands are shown in the best light.
 
"It's important the brands are trusted, otherwise we're going to lose share, sales and consumer hearts and minds."
 
Referring to results from the firm's BrandZ study, Walshe pointed out that hometown advantage can prove important for trust metrics. Acer is more trusted than Apple in Taiwan and Budweiser beats out BMW in the US.
 
Millward Brown research also indicates overall trust in brands has exhibited a "very slight and steady slip" from 2007 to 2009. The growth of online conversations and the macro-economic climate could have influenced this trend.