Future Focus 2019 | Whitepaper

Future Focus 2019: Searching for Trust

In Future Focus 2019, we examine how brands that are built on credibility, relevance, and reliability will see trust as the very foundation for their success in the digital economy.


The digital economy has brought new opportunity for development and innovation in every business sector. While the majority is “good innovation”, we continue to see a significant gap at a societal level, driven by a continued disparity in access to technology based on socio-economic factors. In today’s hyper-sensitive media landscape, how should brands and publishers navigate the notion of truth and authenticity? 
We interviewed more than 300 global marketers and leaders across a broad spectrum of brands, including FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, and used the real-time responses to outline key insights and priorities necessary for businesses to thrive in our fast moving, high expectation digital economy.  

Feedback shows that trust is at the forefront globally with 88% of marketers making trust in their brand a priority in 2019. Marketers see gaining consumer trust as vital to business growth with 76% stating that trust is important to keep consumers buying their brand.  Digital will play a clear role in this with 60% believing that the rise of AI will increase consumer trust as it allows for more relevant and personal experiences.


  • 83% don’t believe brands will dominate over convenient experiences in the future
  • 62% don’t have a proactive role in approaching online reviews, although they think reviews represent the greatest risk to consumer trust
  • 62% say the quality of their purchase experience and after-sales service will be a priority for 2019
  • 69% think the rise of digital assistants represents an opportunity to become closer and develop stronger relationships with consumers


The report also includes exclusive interviews with global leaders from businesses, such as The New York Times Company, IBM, Microsoft, Hilton, The Economist, Rachel Zoe, Inc., IKEA, and AccorHotels.  


Chapter One: Credibility in the Age of Doubt

Outlines the role of purpose in the digital economy and how immediate benefits for brands will be bestowed to those who can use digital to build and reinforce their credibility in the eyes of consumers. By protecting the integrity of their brand online, communicating their values, and leveraging the power of technology, brands will see a steady increase in trust of their brand. 

Includes exclusive interviews with:

  • Mark Thompson, CEO and President, The New York Times Company, on leading the battle against misinformation and fake news.
  • Armin Molavi, Interim VP Media, Hilton, on trust in the travel industry, social responsibility and the new place for data.
  • Mark Cripps, Chief Marketing Officer, The Economist, outlines opportunities in the new value exchange and the notion of being data-responsible.

Chapter Two: Relevance in the Age of Noise

Explores the rise of shrinking consumer attention and an increasingly fragmented consumer landscape. Successful brands will be those who focus on relevant experiences, outplay the influx on digital content, and make the most of the Assistance revolution.  

Includes exclusive interviews with:

  • Vanja Mlaco, Digital Growth Strategist, Transavia, on the importance of putting the consumer ahead of conversion, and using technology as a goal, not a means to an end.
  • Carrie Seifer, Vice President and Chief Revenue Office, IBM Watson and Weather, on the unstoppable rise of AI and how trust and transparency must underpin all action.
  • Laurent Tiersen, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA UK & Ireland, on the constant focus on staying relevant to their customers.
  • Jonathan Foster, Principal Experiences Manager, Microsoft, on how he builds Cortana, using personality goes a long way to building trust, and using art to show humanity to humans.


Chapter Three: Reliability in the Age of Convenience 

Focuses on the rise of convenience as it intersects with the more traditional power of brand, and highlights the subtle balance between building brands and designing highly convenient solutions.  Successful companies will dominate by focusing on the convenience of their digital properties, media assets, and presence on third-party reseller platforms. 

Includes exclusive interviews with:

  • Antoine Dubois, SVP Marketing Global Strategy, AccorHotels, on the convenience, artificial intelligence and the war for talent.
  • Rachel Zoe, CEO, Rachel Zoe Inc., on navigating the rise and influence of digital in the fashion and luxury landscape, and why adaptability is key.