Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Forecast 2022 - Leaders Will Embrace Trust," addresses the issues of trust that are now front and center, including a snapshot from a Forrester 2022 prediction survey, focusing on how leaders will embrace trust challenges. As we increasingly rely on digital platforms, we have seen the complexity and impact of trust issues in the forefront. The examples that come to mind include the Facebook conundrum, the political landscape, business models, fake news, and consumer trust in the age of the pandemic. In recent posts, we note that the consumer is driving this train. As a result, trust is now a significant concern for tech, business, economy, health, and just about every area that impacts lifestyle and sustainability. From a business perspective, trust issues range from marketing expansion challenges to gaining better insight into data-driven employee productivity to launching a disruptive business model. Not a single digital initiative can survive without trust from customers, partners, shareholders, and employees.
The holistic movement has been gaining steam, and now partners, consumers, and stakeholders are no longer willing to wait and see. Instead, these groups are insistent on immediate action that addresses environmental sustainability, diversity, equity, and fairness. As the tech world is gearing up for changes in 2022, many believe that tech can play a massive role in driving triggers that enable trust factors, such as integrity, accountability, empathy, and transparency.
Our Quote of the Day: "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. " — Albert Einstein
Trust is Not a Buzzword
In business and life, people buy and develop relationships with those they trust. Trust, similar to respect, is not a given; instead, it is an earned commodity. It takes time for consumers to trust a brand, particularly a new or emerging one. A note for consideration includes the job growth numbers reported on the first week of December, highlighting November job results. According to the New York Times, "The American economy hit a speed bump in November as hiring unexpectedly dipped before the holiday season, a sign that companies are cautious about prospects for growth. While the jobs data reflects pre-Omicron variant emergence, the figures underscore the economy's fragility as pandemic-related concerns persist."
Although the report failed to hit the numbers that economists predicted for November 2021, the economy did grow by 18.5 million jobs since April 2000, with an unemployment rate that fell to 4.2%. Further, all would agree that growth is growth, albeit with many more entrepreneurial start-ups. In fact, Austan Goolsbee, who recently served on the three-member Council of Economic Advisers from the start of the Obama Administration, stated today that most likely, the November job numbers would be revised upward on account of record numbers of business startups, which fail to make the employment numbers because they are new. That said, naturally, the new brands will want to build trust, as the trust factor will play a pivotal role in the quest for a successful outcome. The Planet Will Benefit From Trust
Forrester researchers predict that 2022 will reveal that more leading brands will focus on trust, which they believe will benefit the planet by empowering businesses and the individuals who will take advantage of new digital models. Here are other developments that we can expect.
A Trust Officer
Be on the lookout for a new corporate position as a chief trust officer. Many businesses are open and willing to create and invest in this position. Brands must underscore the importance of establishing a trustworthy brand identity and the depth and breadth it must go to make trust a part of its foundation.
The 2022 prediction models expect industries such as infrastructure technology and financial services, which require higher levels of trust, to appoint a new chief trust officer. This new role will report directly to the CEO and align with other C-suite positions, such as the CISO. Forrester's count suggests that at least five organizations have already moved in this direction.
Other predictions suggest that an additional 15 organizations in the Global 500 will add trust officers in 2022. This trust role will also have extra weight, complete with overarching responsibilities covering board advisory, technology, risk management, and governance. Moreover, the role will also include additional human-centered trust aspects such as brand strategy and corporate values.
The Climate Change Promise
Al Gore, the 1993 - 2001 former Vice President of the United States, the 2000 Democratic Party presidential nominee and a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Climate Change, is well known for his crusade to fix the planet's climate. Year after year, the stranglehold on the global political protocol has yet to address climate change in a meaningful manner. It's been 14 years since the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Climate Change was awarded to former Vice President Gore, and yet here we are.
While governments around the globe have been chirping about making significant changes, organizations, individuals, and several US agencies have been putting everyone on notice, stating that the effects of climate change are unsustainable for supporting life on the planet. As Elon Musk once noted, he believes that our current lagging global bureaucracies will most likely fail to address fossil fuel consumption, thus ensuring that the planet will become unlivable during our lifetime.
Forrester's synopsis of this dilemma for 2022 states that the number of organizations that will take the Climate Pledge will triple. Environmental sustainability is now the visible trust vehicle, where empathy, integrity, accountability, and transparency lead the way. The Climate Pledge initiative requires businesses and governmental agencies to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. As of Forrester's reporting, 201 firms are already signed and dedicated.
This prediction also states that new regulations will follow due to evolving consumer sentiment, investor demands, government investment, employee activism, inevitable regulation, and partner pressures. Businesses that sign the pledge will visually prove their sustainability promise. Further, signing the pledge will unleash significant investment in new sustainability management software aimed at collecting factual carbon accounting and continual reporting data.
Trust in Marketing
While it is interesting that more leaders will embrace and institute trust into their business models in 2022, many have already given the go-ahead to create a trust officer within their upper management teams. The 2022 corporate suite focus on trust will also drive the implementation and usage of the most trusted marketing medium-direct mail. Direct mail's resurgence is partly due to the level of trustworthiness consumers place in the medium. If executives want to elevate trust in 2022, expect to see direct mail take a prominent position in the marketing tool kit.
This article touches the very tip of the shrinking polar ice caps, and with it, the rapid pace of consumer behavior evolution as it is now imperative that we all work together to support and demand climate change commitment. With the realization that trust is now just as important a strategy for a competitive business model, it is critical to understand that achieving trust can be complicated, fleeting, and indispensable. In 2022, many organizations conclude that any digital initiative will fail unless there is a modicum of trust in the business equation. We implore you to contemplate these 2022 prerequisite trust guidelines as you navigate the 4Q2021 and plan for the new year. Thanks for reading "Forecast 2022 - Leaders Will Embrace Trust!"
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