Trust is the most critical component to develop and maintain a healthy brand. Customers are more likely to trust experts, friends and relatives than marketing campaigns. That’s why it matters to deliver the experience you promise and to build a trusted community around your brand.

As marketers will need to use more personal data to power mobile and contextual experiences, we expect consumer distrust for brands to increase

No matter how quickly wearables and connected objects emerge in the next 10 years, mobility has already introduced a paradigm shift: the ability to collect and use data about individuals in the physical world. Mobility will change the nature of the data marketers can use and act upon. Data collected via mobile will be much more sensitive, more personal and more contextual. Via sensors on wearables or smartphones, marketers will access data on our bodies and our whereabouts in real-time. This represents a huge opportunity for marketers to power better marketing across all channels not just mobile. Mobile and connected objects will not only change the nature of the data marketers can access, it will also bring privacy concerns to the physical space and it risks breaking anonymization.

Together with my colleague Fatemeh Khatibloo, co-author of the report, we digged into our Technographics data to better understand consumers’ perceptions on mobile privacy. We also conducted many interviews to discuss with marketers, vendors, and regulators how they approach mobile data and privacy. Here below are a couple of facts we learnt:

  • Privacy concerns about smartphones are quickly catching up to desktop concern.Because of the growing importance of “hidden harvesting” via mobile apps in particular, we believe consumers will soon be more concerned on privacy on mobile than on computers. Today, the lower concern can be explained by the relative novelty of mobile as an advertising platform, the lack of cookie-based tracking on mobile apps and some mobile browsers and the misguided sense of control that consumers feel over their most personal device.
  • US smartphone users are almost as worried as German ones are when it comes to privacy on mobile devices.
  • The younger generation cares about mobile privacy too but in a different way.
  • Too many marketers think of privacy as a legal and compliance issue.According to the IAB, only 37% of mobile marketers consider privacy a very important issue.

The age of the customer will lead to new customer rights. Historically, each industrial revolution has led to a new set of regulations. The digital revolution will see the progressive appearance of new laws centered around data and the respect of individual liberties and responsibilities However, regulators will be slow to define global privacy standards. Instead of waiting for regulation, it is critical for brands and vendors in the data and marketing ecosystems to evolve their business practices now to build trust.

Consumers are increasingly aware of the value of their data and expect brands to deliver clear benefits in exchange of the personal data they share. Moving forward, we believe consumers will increasingly take control of the brand relationship via mobile trusted agents. Brand trust will be built on mobile experiences.

In fact, brands’ survival will depend on their ability to build trust.

For clients willing to know more, see our new report “How Will People Trust You?” to deep dive into this topic and figure out how B2C marketers should adopt contextual privacy to build trust and develop differentiated mobile experiences.

See also below a video of my recent speech on this topic at Mobile Convention Amsterdam