Edelman: ‘People’s Trust in Business Broadly Declining’

Today, for the 15th time, Edelman have released the results of their Trust Barometer survey. This is an annual global study that monitors the levels of trust people have in businesses, governments, media, and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) around the world. This is a relevant and important indicator for marketing professionals to track. Especially since trust levels affect people’s receptiveness to their marketing efforts. And, the other way around, the quality of their marketing efforts affect people’s level of trust.


Trust matters. The higher their levels of trust, the more likely they are more likely to buy more (80%) of and pay more (54%) for companies’ products.


Edelman’s Trust Barometer provides detailed insights in levels of trust across countries, across different sectors. It also shares good insights on the types of media that people base their trust perceptions on. The more likely they are to recommend them (60%) and defend them (40%).


Some of the highlights in this year’s survey results:


Digital media have grown significantly in importance as sources for trusted information. This is the first year that online search is more trusted than traditional media. And close to half of respondents indicate that they use social media as a genuine source of information.


People’s trust in business has broadly declined since 2014. The majority of people in the majority of surveyed countries simply do not trust businesses – a whopping 80%. The level of trust is based on industry sector, country of origin, enterprise type, and leadership. As for leadership, only 40% indicate to trust CEO’s.


Today’s rapid pace of change negatively influences people’s trust in businesses. 55% thinks that product testing is not thorough enough. Consequently, innovation isn’t automatically trusted by people. At least, not, unless they understand the benefits and unless the test results are made public (80%). Allowing customers and trusted stakeholders to participate in the development of new innovations, will increase people’s level of trust. Business should engage the community, partner with multiple stakeholders, and articulate clearly how the innovations benefit individuals, their families, and society as a whole.


The full report can be downloaded on the Edelman website.

Ewald Jozefzoon


Ewald has 20+ years of broad b2b and b2c experience helping companies across Europe and the US (1) professionalize & manage their marketing organizations, (2) develop and launch brands, products & services, and (3) create new commercial opportunities based on market & business intelligence.

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