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New Global Report from Intuit Mailchimp Explores the Role of Brand Trust in Today’s Digital Landscape

“Brand Trust in the Age of Information Overload,” offers insight into how marketers can build trust and connection with today's conscious consumers

Today, Intuit Mailchimp released the new international report “Brand Trust in the Age of Information Overload,” a critical set of marketing insights based on the results of a global survey that explores consumer connection, convenience, and communication preferences in today's digital-first ecosystem. 

The release shares survey results from 10,000 consumers in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK, drawing from interviews conducted online by Sapio Research on behalf of Intuit Mailchimp. The findings denote a modern attitude around personalisation, with most respondents eager to see their data used for more targeted product recommendations as long as those efforts go hand in hand with assurances of privacy. In a digital landscape brimming with instant gratification and information overwhelm, consumers still value connection and trust right alongside free shipping and other commodified conveniences—even as they search for cost savings amid the inflation crisis. 

The survey found that brand perception and trust can have an outsized impact on campaigns. Most consumers decide whether to read or click links in an email based on who it’s from (31%) versus preview text (18%) or subject line (18%). And even for those lucky loved brands, there’s a limit to consumers’ attention: Six emails per week is the average number respondents say they will receive from a brand before unsubscribing. However, sensitivity to individual preferences can help brands retain their subscribers. More than half (52%) of consumers appreciate thoughtful marketing initiatives such as opt-out campaigns around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. And when it comes to engaging with customers via email specifically, personalised content is most popular (56%), followed by limited and exclusive collections (42%).

In fact, consumer demand for personalised marketing emerged as a major theme in the findings, with nearly half (45%) of consumers believing that the future of personalisation will mean they won’t need to search for products and services—rather, that their desired purchases will be coming to them. Consumers broadly indicated they are happy to receive targeted brand recommendations based on personal data and behaviour, including shopping in person (59%), via search engine (57%) or on a website (57%). But as personalisation becomes more important for marketers, so does data—and, in turn, consumer trust around how and by whom that data is leveraged. 

Amid the rise of global misinformation, 32% of consumers trust brands less, compared to 20% of those who trust brands more. Of those who trust brands less, 53% said transparency from brands could help to rebuild their trust. But consumer confidence hinges on different factors depending on which population you poll: a proven track record of excellent customer service, for example, is key in Australia (45%) and New Zealand (48%), but is less important in the Netherlands (28%) and Sweden (23%). Localised reports for the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Scandinavia, Germany, and Australia & New Zealand explore these nuances and more. 

In service of the increasing expectations around personalisation and other brand communications, many marketers may enlist AI as their co-pilot—a concept that holds generally positive sentiment among consumers. 38% say they are comfortable with human-made content supported by AI-led insights and information, and 30% are comfortable with AI-made content with extensive human input and oversight. Still, there remains a strong affinity for the human touch. Nearly half (48%) of consumers crave entirely human-made brand communications, with higher demand from those aged 55-to-64 (50%) and over-65s (53%). In the vital work of personalising brand communications for large audiences, these findings suggest marketers may benefit most from a new kind of balancing act: embracing the empathy, creativity, and instinct of a human perspective and deploying it with the speed, precision, and scale AI can make possible. 

Throughout the survey results, respondents didn’t just share how they like to hear from brands; they also opened up about how they like to buy from them. Apparently, the mid-afternoon work slump is felt worldwide: 27% of full-time workers admitted to making purchases during office hours between 3 and 6 pm (although 48% of respondents as a whole say that the 6-9 pm window is their preferred online shopping period). Two in five consumers say they will likely look for a discount code before making a purchase; 15% off seems to be the sweet spot, on average. And after key elements like connection and trust (44%) or discounts and rewards (42%), consumers broadly reiterated the significance of free delivery (38%) and free returns (34%) as important purchasing factors.

All in all, marketers have both a challenge and an opportunity ahead of them as they seek to build trust with today's consumers. Appealing to sceptical buyers may require more nuance than the one-size-fits-all campaigns of the past. But once a customer connects with a brand's identity on a deeper level, that trust can unlock higher engagement, more purchasing confidence, and a lasting connection. 

Explore all of the insights of “Brand Trust in the Age of Information Overload” by downloading the full regional reports below as they become available.

The United Kingdom

Australia & New Zealand

España / Spain

edición en Español

Deutschland / Germany

Deutsche Ausgabe

Skandinavien / Scandinavia

svensk utgåva

dansk udgave

norsk utgave

Nederlands / The Netherlands

Nederlandse editie

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1% percentage point from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. 

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