Contagious acting editor Patrick Jeffrey talked about the importance of understanding new business openness benchmarks and taking inspiration from radically honest startups to embed transparency into marketing strategies.

According to Jeffrey, only 3% of people trust marketers. A general decline in trust impacts everyone on planet and to address this, companies must focus on new business benchmarks and new tech on the horizon. “In 2018, there is no way brands can run away from this.” However, there is a pretty simple upshot – trust is declining across all fields, partially due to political polarization and the rise of fake news, as well as the Google Facebook duopoly miscalculating metrics.

AI and an obsession with transparency are key trends that companies must pay attention to. Although Jeffrey said some larger firms may not feel they can compete with “trendy new companies”, he said “if that’s your attitude, I don’t think that will work in 2018”, with the new wave exposing big brands’ attitudes, whether they like it or not. He discussed Aspiration, a bank in the US that awards every brand an ‘aspiration impact measurement score’ based on how they treat people and the planet.

Another tech that Jeffrey believes will create a “genuine revolution” is blockchain, which will increasingly be used to inject transparency into supply chains. “Soon there will be nowhere to hide,” he added, saying that every supply chain and subsidiary will be open to scrutiny. Bringing the subject back to the industry, he believes that marketers can play massive roles in preparing for the future by injecting transparency into their next campaigns with price, provenance and process. “Marketers can go a step further and use threats of transparency to force entire organisations to change,” he concluded.