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Consumer Trust: Interesting Research Findings

21 Mar

Consumer trust is important if companies and industries are to succeed, certainly in the long run. For example, see “Are You Vigilant in Protecting Your Reputation?”, “Don’ts for Businesses Using Social Media”, and “Americans Don’t Trust Mass Media” .

According to eMarketer:

“Brand trust seems to matter more than ever, though it may be harder than ever to build that trust. SheSpeaks and Womenkind recently conducted a study to find out how women in the U.S. think about trust and loyalty when it comes to brands. The study found that most women are skeptical of advertising. Nearly three in four U.S. female Internet users polled said they trust advertising ‘very little’ or ‘not at all,’ while just one in five said they trust it ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot.'”

“Women also distrust certain industries, though some fare better than others. When asked about which industries they trust — or don’t trust — survey respondents were most likely to deem companies in the packaged goods, nonprofit, technology, and beauty and personal care industries as the most trustworthy. In contrast, women said they trusted companies in the financial services, automotive, and healthcare industries ‘very little’ or ‘not at all.'”

It is somewhat surprising that nonprofits are not trusted substantially more than for-profit packaged goods companies and technology firms. And the financial services, auto, and healthcare industries need to work harder to gain consumer trust.
 
Extent to Which US Female Internet Users Trust Companies, by Industry, Feb 2017 (% of respondents)
 

A Salute to State Farm for Promoting Community Service

16 Mar

For decades, State Farm Insurance has used the slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” It’s community involvement is highlighted by the tag line, “Good neighbors always lend a helping hand.”

To highlight its community involvement programs, beginning in late 2015, State Farm introduced a series of videos/TV ads called “Neighborhood Sessions.” Here is one of those TV ads:

 “State Farm Neighborhood Sessions® celebrates good neighbors — the kind of good neighbors who have your back and work hard to make their communities better. Meet some Oklahoma superstars who inspire others through their passion for good.”


 
This month (March 2017), State Farm introduced a new TV ad called “The Following:”

“Let’s turn caring into doing. Visit http://NeighborhoodofGood.com to find volunteer opportunities in your community. Causes include education, health care, homelessness, veterans, animals, and many others.”


 

Misleading Marketing

9 Mar

As we have noted before (see, for example, 1, 2), marketers are sometimes ethically challenged in their quest to generate more revenues and profits.

Here is an interesting video of 10 ethically questionable marketing practices. NOTE: Some of these tactics are sexually suggestive.
 
 

 

Proud to Be Part of the Hofstra Community

5 Mar

Members of the Hofstra community came together to make a message assuring all students that they are welcome on Hofstra’s campus. Representatives from faculty, administration, athletics, student affairs, and a wide variety of student leaders want all students from across the globe to know #YouAreWelcomeHere
 
 

 

Ransomware: A NOT So Humorous Look

15 Feb

As we’ve reported before, the ransomware threat has many negative effects. Ransomware “is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.” [Ransomware: The Smart Person’s Guide, by James Sanders]

How pervasive is the threat of ransomware in our everyday lives? Check out this rather scary cartoon from Joy of Tech. It was inspired by the recently published Ransomware: Defending Against Digital Extortion by Allan Liska and Timothy Gallo! [Click the image for a larger version of the cartoon.]
 

 

Fortune’s 2017 Crystal Ball

8 Feb

Each year, Fortune magazine presents an interesting series of predictions for the coming year.

The 2017 “crystal ball” is based on these principles (and includes the use of IBM Watson 🙂 ):

“The election of Donald Trump to the presidency represents a seismic shift in American politics, an event with implications nearly impossible to predict. One casualty of the election, indeed, may be the science of prediction itself. For all their algorithmic gymnastics, pollsters and betting markets were utterly confounded by Trump’s win. Which is why it’s essential to have a prediction tool that relies as much on art (and whimsy) as it does on science. And this year, for some extra insight, we’ve even teamed up with artificial-intelligence powerhouse IBM Watson, which mined tens of millions of sources to help us spot hidden trends. Here, we offer our well-informed, intuitive take on the stories that will shape business—and much else—in the coming year.”

Fortune’s 2017 predictions are divided into several categories:

  • Techno-Futurism
  • Politics
  • Economy
  • The World
  • Trendsetters
  • More Companies Tie the Knot
  • Where Fortune Is Placing Its Bets
  • How We Did in 2016

 

Click the image to read the 2017 predictions.


 

Don’ts for Businesses Using Social Media

30 Jan

In this new era of fake news, alternative truth, and inflammatory messages on social media, it is a good time for us to appraise (or reappraise) our own use of social media. Are we doing the best we can to avoid careless mistakes or inflammatory language?

Recently, Annie Pilon described “20 Taboo Topics to Stay Away from on Your Company’s Social Media Channels” for Small Business Trends. Here are some of her observations. PLEASE keep them in mind when utilizing social media and reacting to comments by others:

“If you use social media to promote your business online, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into what types of posts to share. But sometimes it can be just as important to consider what NOT to post on social media.”

             “Making fun of specific groups of people can go too far.

Even the occasional complaint about customers can be enough to damage your brand.

Avoid complaining about your employees online.

Customers want to know that you have a team that they can trust.

Nonconstructive criticism about public figures can seem petty to your social media followers.

You don’t want to be too intrusive when asking questions of your followers.

Be careful not to share anything that’s not true, as it can make your business look bad and lead to your followers being misinformed.

Healthy competition can be good for a business, even on social media. But there’s a big difference between a friendly back-and-forth and trash-talking.

Social media also isn’t the place to share sensitive or confidential information about customers.

Don’t share with followers every time you’re having a bad day or just feeling ‘blah’ about your business.

Posting anything illegal, whether it’s drug use or even just speeding, is a very bad idea.

Stay away from sharing any content that could be considered controversial.

It’s also best not to post anything that’s irrelevant to your audience.”

 

Click the image to learn more from Pilon.


 

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