More CMOs See Trusting Relationships As Being Critically Important to Customers

Trusting relationships are growing in importance to consumers, believe US CMOs, who now see trust rivaling service excellence and even all-important product quality, according to the latest edition of The CMO Survey.

Almost one-quarter (24%) of the CMOs surveyed said that customers’ top priority in the next 12 months would be trusting brand relationships, up from 17% a year earlier. By comparison, fewer see superior product quality (25%, down from 29%) and excellent service (24%, down from 27%) as being customers’ top priority.

Trustworthiness is one of the top 5 brand attributes for Millennials around the world, according to previous research, though only a slight majority of Millennials in the US believe that the number of trustworthy brands is growing. Recent research has found business to be “on the brink of distrust,” with consumers reporting that high-quality products are one of the leading building blocks of trust.

Earning trust will be important to customer acquisition and retention, areas in which CMOs are growing more confident. Almost three-quarters (73%) believe that they’ll acquire new customers in the next 12 months (up from 67% this time last year), and more than half (53%) project that they’ll be able to retain more customers. The positive outlook for the next year also continues into optimism about increased customer purchase volume (67%) and increased purchase of related products and services (61%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 388 top marketers at for-profit companies in the US, 95% of whom are at VP level or above.