On Thursday, Newsworks gave an audience at London’s Everyman Borough Yards a sneak peek of its investigation into the multifaceted and nuanced nature of trust and why it matters to brands and consumers
The rise of misinformation and falling confidence in public institutions have made trust more relevant than ever before. However, such a key metric is often oversimplified and misunderstood, measured too simplistically and out of context.
Newsworks has set out to improve the industry’s understanding of trust by creating a more accurate measurement that approaches it in a multifaceted way, where the boosting powers of familiarity and fame interact with the damaging factors of incompetence and risk to form people’s perceptions of a brand’s trustworthiness.
Using this model, our study has found readers’ trust in national news brands over social media and other online news sources is markedly higher, with quality publishers 42% less likely to be perceived as incompetent and 21% less risky.
To show how readers’ trust in news brands matters to advertisers, Newsworks conducted a test with thousands of respondents. Using digital display ads from five different types of brands and placing them in news brand and non-news brand settings, we found trust as an aggregate of all four metrics was 1.5 times higher across all five brands, reaching 1.8 times higher among less established ones.
Explaining the benefits of a more nuanced measurement, Tapestry Research co-founder and joint managing director Ian Wright called the new metric “a much stronger way of measuring trust and what is contributing to trust in a brand”, as well as “a diagnostic of what you might do in the future” to improve it.
How trust in news brands links to profit for advertisers
Newsworks’ preview event also took a look at effectiveness expert Peter Field’s fifth iteration of the IPA Databank study, exploring the effectiveness of the latest news brand Databank ads from the last three years alongside previous iterations and how trust has become particularly important to brands.
His research has found the link between trust in news brands and profit has grown especially strongly with the emergence of heightened fake news and misinformation online. While 31% more news brand advertisers reported very large market share growth in 2012-6 as opposed to non-news brand advertisers, this soared to an 88% uplift between 2018-22.
Meanwhile, the effect of multi-platform news brand ad campaigns to increase trust has also grown strongly since the advent of fake news in 2016. Whereas 9% of campaigns using more than one news brand platform between 2012-16 reported very large brand trust growth, this jumped 33 percentage points in 2018-22 to 42%.
Speaking about the importance of trust in the context of effectiveness, Field said: “Trust and quality are very correlated…it has doubled over the last 20 years.”
He added: “The case for news brands, which has been strong forever, continues to strengthen.”
We’ll be releasing the full report behind our ‘Trust’ research in April, as well as our Trust tool and videos from the event. Read more from Peter Field’s presentation here.
If you’d like to hear more about the report or for us to present the research to your agency, please get in touch with our client and agency services director Niki West.