IN AN AGE where fake news and alternative facts have proliferated social media, Filipino netizens are found to be still more accepting of messages brands transmit to their news feeds, a research said.

Kantar TNS’s 2017 Connected Life study — which involved a survey of 70,000 people in 56 countries and the conduct of 104 interviews — shows that some 59% of connected consumers in the country perceive content in their social media feed as reliable, higher than the global trust rate of 35%.

Only 15% of Filipinos surveyed said they were concerned about the amount of personal data companies have gathered from them compared with the 40% globally, and just 20% object to connected devices monitoring their online activities for convenience, compared to 43% globally.

Meanwhile, almost half or 40% of Filipino online consumers trust giant international brands, according to Kantar.

“Filipinos are very open to interaction online, especially on social media channels. They are happy to trust the content they read on these channels, making them one of the most trusting countries in the region, second only to Indonesia,” said Nicco de Jesus, Digital Director, Philippines, Kantar TNS, in the statement.

The findings reflect a high level of confidence on the messages brands relay online, making consumers more comfortable with interaction that requires sharing some pieces of personal information, an attitude which also suggests that consumers are unaware that individuals in most parts of the world have become more cynical about the way companies are using their personal information.

But Mr. De Jesus reminded companies that they should not be lax amid the progress seen in digital interaction in the country.

The Kantar survey found that only 19% of Filipino online consumers are willing to pay for products using their mobile phone compared to 39% globally, suggesting that innovative solutions and financial literacy are needed for brands to convince consumers to consider new payment methods.

“Trust is fragile. Brands in emerging countries see higher levels of consumer trust today than those in developed ones but they shouldn’t take it for granted,” Michael Nicholas, Global Lead of Connected Solutions, Kantar TNS, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“To build and protect trust, brands need to put the customer first. That means understanding their motivations, understanding the right moments to engage with them, respecting their time as valuable, and being more transparent about how and when they collect and use their personal data,” Mr. Nicholas added.

Connected Life is Kantar TNS’s annual study of digital behavior. The research explored consumer trust in brands in relation to four themes: technology, content, data, and e-commerce.

Kantar TNS is one of the world’s largest global market research and insights agencies with experts in over 90 countries. — Janina C. Lim