In such a competitive industry, establishing trust between B2B marketers and B2B buying decision-makers is crucial.

Informa Tech recently undertook a study which saw 150 B2B tech-buying decision-makers in both the US and the UK take part in a survey which measured trust within marketing. The Informa Tech 2023 Trust in Marketing Index, which measures the state of the relationship between marketers and B2B technology buying decision markers, measured a score of 61 out of 100. Indicating that while there is a level of trust, there is still a significant amount of work which needs to be done to establish a high level between companies and buyers.

The Same Old Content

The survey uncovered that there is a need for improvements in several different areas; specifically, reinforcing the message that content which remains the same significantly reduces the trust among the target audiences. In fact, 42% of respondents found that content was too general, whilst 71% were often disappointed in the value of B2B gated content. Addressing these outcomes can reduce the chance of negative impacts and improve future trust amongst B2B audiences.

Quality not Quantity

But what makes B2B content trustworthy? Respondents were asked to select their top three qualities which contribute to the positive impact of content. Content which came from trusted publishers was the top chosen quality (61%), followed by content with a high level of detail (60%) and lastly content which is shared by others (46%). Creating content which aligns with these qualities can significantly enhance the impact and effectiveness of tactics such as lead generation and email marketing.

It’s Personal

The survey also revealed that personalised content is another branch of trust and offers several key benefits. 45% of respondents felt more comfortable with the brand as personalisation offers a sense of trust and familiarity between the distributor and consumer. 38% felt that it makes them more aware of personally relevant trends, highlighting that personalised content can effectively serve their specific interests; therefore, creating a deeper level of engagement. And finally, 36% believed that personalised content saves them time when decision-making, emphasising the importance of time-saving when choosing a product/supplier. The survey also revealed that overall, 33% have a majority of trust in personalised content from marketers that they have already shared their data with. Although the emphasis on personalisation should be no surprise to marketers, it does reinforce the importance of using it throughout the journey, from initial contact to nurturing to encourage the conversion from MQL to SQL.

Relationship Woes: Positive and Negative Impacts on Buyer Relationships

Along with personalised content, buying relationships were significant to respondents. When asked if seeing certain marketing actions would impact their trust in a B2B brand, 70% of recipients said that seeing content about a brands DEI (Diversity Equality, and Inclusion) or ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) efforts would likely lead to increased trust or slightly increased trust; suggesting that showcasing commitment to ethical standards and social responsibility could increase the trust among B2B audiences.

Throughout the B2B customer journey, it is important to have touchpoints between the brand and customer, but not irrelevant and spamming content. 41% of respondents who had been incorrectly targeted or spammed said they would not buy a product from the offending brand. This marketing behaviour ultimately has a negative impact on the buying relationship, with 24% going on to say they weren’t sure if the offending brand would have the opportunity to a future deal with them.

When executed correctly, touchpoints are essential for the enhancement of the customer experience, increasing engagement, building trust and credibility, and creating opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling.

Truth Boosters VS Truth Busters

The survey asked respondents to select approaches that B2B marketers can take to build trust with them (trust boosters) as well as the approaches which would negatively affect their trust in a B2B brand (trust busters).

Among the truth busters, 42% of recipients respond well to the use of case studies, recognising the credibility and practical value they offer. Brands which provide current actionable data were the second most favourable trust-boosting action (35%), once again emphasising the importance of up-to-date information in the decision-making process. Access to experts, appreciated by another 35%, establishes the dedication to providing valuable insights and guidance as a trust booster. The final truth booster chosen by the respondents showed that 29% acknowledged the importance of modified content that directly addresses their individual challenges and concerns, highlighting the impact of personalised solutions.

Whilst there are truth boosters, the survey also demonstrated the truth busters. The first of which includes the dissemination of content which is either dated or often-repeated information, 33% highlighted that this leads to a lack of trust, with the risk of hindering the perception of a brands relevance and innovation. A further action which would reduce trust among 29% of respondents is the distribution of content which leads to a sales pitch.  Similarly, the continuous targeting of ads for the same product post-purchase is identified as a trust buster by 26% of respondents. This style of marketing may lead to a sense of intrusiveness, lack of respect for the customer and disregard for the customer’s needs, so it’s important to find the right balance when nurturing a lead pre and post-purchase.

Finally, 22% expressed the dislike of receiving phone calls after filling out a form to receive content, the intrusive outreach can destroy trust through initial interactions and lead to a negative impact on the brand.


It’s evident there is still a huge level of trust which needs to be established within the B2B industry, although there are some quick and easy fixes that marketers can implement to make a difference.

The study serves as a comprehensive guide for B2B marketers, emphasising the critical need for a distinctive approach that prioritises authentic engagement, value-driven content, and an ethical business ethos. Understanding the importance of both trust in marketing and the catalysts for negative impacts which dismantle trust is crucial for developing strong and enduring relationships in the competitive industry of B2B.