I spend a lot of time in the digital space and on digital devices. It’s a space that fascinates me and I don’t think it’s only because of my age – the speed of change, the diversity, the access it offers, and the influence it can have on our decisions are few of the elements that drive this fascination.

One of the questions that I have revisited with over the last week is how can we build and enable trust through digital channels.

Trust is defined in the dictionary as a “firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something”. Being exposed to so much content on a daily basis have you ever stopped to asked yourself if you can trust some of the things that you read or see?

I recently read an article on Medium titled the “The Neuroscience of Cravings”. One of the key takeaways for me was a point in the article around access. “People are also bombarded with access to junk food: There’s multiple McDonald’s or Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts at seemingly every corner. “Our environment gives us a very ready supply of calorie-dense foods,” says Hall. “Lower-calorie options are more difficult to seek out.”

Being in the information age, we have the answers to many of our questions at our finger tips. We are bombarded by different forms of advertising with brands bidding for our attention and trying to get us to purchase their product. Machine learning can manage data points at a far greater speed than we can and as a result we are sometimes categorised incorrectly by algorithms.

Why is this relevant? Well, if brands want to build trust and a relationship with consumers they need to be fully aware of the different messages and touch points that they present to their consumers. Personalisation is evolving and the various data points that marketers have at their disposal should be used to craft relevant messages that are aware of the broader context.

This week’s podcasts centred around the theme of trust and understanding what people really need/want. Christopher Lockhead, explores the dichotomy of why trust has never mattered more but remains so low in major institutions; the Accessibility team chat to Apple’s Senior Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives;  Seth Godin, asks the question of “Who is Banksy” and what impact Banky’s illusive nature has on the art he creates; and lastly Shane chats to Jim Dethmer, founder of The Conscious Leadership Group, about how we can become more self-aware and operate in the creative consciousness.

“Eye balls and handshakes”, the old school authentic builder of trust… is the digital world hurting our relationships or helping us build stronger ones? I think it is an enabler, but we mustn’t forget about authenticity and shouldn’t get caught up falsehoods created by many influencers.