It’s Time to Deal With Trust Crisis From Online Advertising


How much data about your customers do you think you have? Are you aware of trust crisis happening in the past few years with Facebook scandals and other online platforms? It is urgent that customers have begun to distrust online advertising because their data is rapidly spread by unauthorized parties with unexpected purposes. As a marketer, you need to perceive the ethical role of marketing and advertising in this modern time when technology if not being used properly can be harmful to our customers.


There is any evident proof to conclude that current model of online advertising is dangerous for the society. In the scale of 5, I would give a score of 3 as moderately dangerous for following reasons. First, most people are paying attention on their personal privacy for any online activities. If you follow the case of Facebook in the past year, you properly know that Facebook has been encountered privacy issues when data of Facebook users were used for political campaigns through unauthorized third parties. Because of this, people are afraid of giving their information to online advertisers through thousands of online channels.

Second, information can be stored with cookies and algorithms, and online advertisers has been taking advantage of that very well. It sounds like a joke when Jaron addressed in his TedTalk that advertising and social networks are not intrinsic themselves anymore, but behavior modification instead. It is true! Today your go online and buy a watch, then tomorrow the very first thing showing in your search engines or any sites you go to is watch advertisings – exactly the same style and color, plus coupon and promotion codes. What a good deal! Now are you thankful for that, with the deal keeps following you wherever you browse even? Well, this can be very personal as we are different. Nevertheless, if you stand in the shoes of your customers, you need to change or else they will leave you one day as they do not trust you anymore.

It is time to stop trust crisis from online advertising and deal with it. A truly marketer must truly have lifetime relationship with her customers through true value and privacy respect. This will help you stand out against the trust crisis and keep your customers being loyal and intrigued to know more about your products. Business is about making money, yet a sustainable business has its ethic responsibility towards its only source of surviving–customers. Having said that, here are codes of ethics for digital markets to avoid distrust and gain trust from customers.

Have democracy–it’s not politics, its striven duty

There is nothing to do with politics here. Everyone likes to live in liberal condition where their desire is met and free of any dictation. But, desires of a business owner and customers are different. So, make sure you give your customers democracy, not for your business. If someone says business is devil, then it is up to you to counter him that you delivery democracy desire for people.

Be patient in building love

Jaron is right when he said building love is long and ruining love is short. And yet making money easily can ruin love. You want to walk with your customers long and long, then remember to be patient. You can not be patient if you do not have love, so it matters that you want to take your love to give love, or you do want to give love to ruin love. It is your relationship with your customers, do not lose it!

Spend your budget on credibility

Being a profession marketer, you must know credibility is important to refer to your customers. It can be a trustworthy spokesperson or writer. It can be the trustworthy content itself. It can also be long history of having good feedback from customers. Whatever it is, keep building your credibility is a key to keep you mindful about what is right or wrong and genuine in what campaign you are doing.

Genuine motive

Having a genuine motive is important to stick yourself to be customers-centered. You are driven by helping people and delivering true value for people, that is why your business was founded. Whenever you get stuck, do not forget to ask yourself a question of what reason it was that you started your business. Time flies, but it is never too late to be right.

Profit striven but be human beings

This is related to democracy but in an upper level. Psychologically, you want to treat people the same way you want them to treat you. So, if you do not protect your customers from the threat of privacy issues, your customers may sue you. That sounds serious but do not let your business in that situation ever. You are also human beings, so love people as you love yourself.

Control your retargeting/remarketing

With the support of cookies, you are of course able to retarget your customers whenever they go online. But because of above mentioned codes, remember to control your activity by employing frequency caps. It is simple and easy to do, so do not let your customers leave you for obsessively repeating advertising.

Inspire your team to be ethical

Only you being aware of privacy issue is not enough; involve your team! Inspire them the role of ethic marketing. One change is weak, but together your team can create a healthy, safety and sustainable online environment for your customers.

Communicate with your entire company

Has your CEO understood the consequence of trust crisis and the role of ethic marketing? Has your entire company perceived the long-term value of sustainable relationship with its customers? Tell them, inspire them and change them. You can do that because you are a truly ethical marketer!


Can Marketers Repair Social Media’s Crisis of Trust?

Digital Marketing Essentials (Larson & Draper). Chapter 7: Display Advertising

Facebook faces a reputational meltdown.

Millennials Have Greatest Trust In Ads, Yet Are Among Heaviest Users Of Ad Blockers.

Jaron Lanier’s TED Talk: How We Need To Remake the Internet

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