Understanding audiences requires listening to them, both to what they say and what they do. This, of course, requires collecting information about people. However, how well do people trust the companies they interact with to protect and respect their information?

To answer this question, and to gauge shifts over time, DISQO has been asking a sample of our audience to share their perspective. Each month, we surveyed people, asking them to which degree they trust various types of companies to protect and respect their data. Today, we are sharing the results of the first three editions of that study, covering the first quarter of 2020!

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Specifically, the study, uncovers consumer trust related to the following:

  • Social media platforms
  • Search engines
  • Online retailers
  • Financial institutions
  • Media companies
  • Market research firms

A direct download of the report is available on the report page, which includes over 40 charts in total. Here are the top takeaways from the study:

  • Trust across all categories has improved slightly. On average, category level trust improved 4.1% in Q1 2020, leaving significant room for improvement across most categories.
  • Trust in social media sites remains low. Each month, trust in social media sites has been the lowest.
  • Trust in market research firms has grown the most. In total, 59.2% of people report that they trust market research firms to protect and respect their personal information, and 10.4% report a strong degree of trust.
  • Tepid trust grows for search engines. While overall positive trust has improved at a notable rate for search engines (up 5% in Q1), much of this is driven by growth among people who “somewhat agree” that they trust search engines.
  • Trust in online retailers is relatively strong. A majority (59.2%) of people report that they trust online retailers, a figure which has grown modestly since January (+3.8%).
  • Trust in financial institutions is high, but flat. Compared to other categories, trust in financial institutions grew the least in Q1, with virtually no change (+0.1%) between February and March. Nonetheless, this category remains the most highly trusted (72.7%).
  • Trust in media companies is uncertain. While a slight majority of people (50.7%) now report that they trust media companies, a significant 22.9% of people remain uncertain, and another 26.4% expressed active distrust.
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Updates to this report will be made available on a quarterly basis. If you’d like a deeper analysis of consumer trust for your brand or industry, please reach out!

For additional highlights, methodology, and access to the full report, visit the Consumer Trust report page.