May 8, 2015

Search for trust between physical and digital worlds

Ksenia Avetisova

Head of Enhanced Reality Lab & Strategic Innovation Lead, Data-Driven Businesses, Tieto

There is a potential for immense value for both businesses and users if they engage in relationship built on trust. But as the pace of our digitalised world continues to relentlessly accelerate, we've developed a need to navigate the constant flow of information, possibilities and connections that come our way.

Hardly anyone is offline and off the social networks nowadays, and over the recent years we have seen a rise of intentional marketing sneaking its way to our news feeds and friends lists. It has also been evident that the more audience a person or a brand has in a social media landscape - the more popular it is, and the more influence they have.

It makes us wonder - how can we trust anyone, and how should we become more trustworthy?

It's not a myth that anyone interested can purchase a crowd of followers on Twitter or Instagram, order fake product reviews on Amazon or employ one of many algorithms that follow certain hashtags on Instagram and even engage in automated conversation on user's behalf. How many of us wondered if those celebrities and politicians are really typing away tweets and posting selfies all day long? Much of communication outside of circle of our close friends seems like constant marketing, even if it comes from a person. We learn to filter out the noise and with time become imperceptive to the messages that fly our way.

Psychologists have tried to crack the problem of identifying the trustworthiness signals for decades, if not centuries, and have not yet succeeded. As psychologist David DeSteno writes in his book "The Truth about Trust" - trust is a bet, and it undeniably contains elements of risk. But as human beings we are unconsciously drawn to risk, thus we are inclined to trust others. Moreover, risk is seen as vital part of our creative process, and fuel to innovation. There is no proof of how trustworthy someone or something is, there is no way of measuring it. It's in most cases a leap of faith. And once we take it, we continuously re-evaluate our decision in order to reinforce the notion of trust.

How does our natural ability and need to trust affect our behaviour in the digital world?

There are initiatives attempting to measure genuine influence in the social media in order to ease the decisions about trustworthiness. Recent moves taken by key players of digital social scene have shown that trust is seen as essential part of the digital relationship as well. It appears that we've come to realization that quality stands over volume, especially when we are talking about the digital and social. Twitter and Instagram have been removing fake accounts, evoking pain for some user groups, and raising up trust with the others. Amazon even went to court against companies offering fake product reviews.

Let's look at some of the factors that help us build and maintain trust on individual level, as well as between organizations and customers.

  • Listen closely and engage on a personal level
  • Create authentic content that adds value to your audience
  • Collaborate with recognized subject-matter experts
  • Be open and transparent in your communication and actions
  • Maintain good reputation by giving realistic promises and keeping them

All of these factors are aligned with one overarching principle - being benevolent in your intentions

It all comes to the fact that in the blended reality of the physical and digital worlds more can be achieved by working together than alone. Putting customer in the centre of our approach, we enable organizations to break the silos and reach out to potential partners across industries to find transformative solutions to address the challenges. We create connections that inspire and offer alternative view-points to maximize the impact.

Tieto Experience Hub ecosystem consists of leaders in various industries, technology disruptors & solution providers, award-winning design partners and end-users that come together to innovate radical ideas of undeniable value. This provides our partners with the power of addressing any challenges and renewing their business approach with speed and agility. Stay tuned for the first success stories.

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