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NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino Calls Trust Key to Growth

Linda Yaccarino

Trust matters, said Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s global chairman for advertising and partnerships, in an opinion piece posted Tuesday on the NBCU Together website.

Yaccarino said trust is crucial in forming the kinds of partnerships needed to help businesses, communities and families grow.

Based on its research about trust, NBCU is forming community councils to help drive impact for local businesses. The first NBCUniversal Community Council is being launched in Philadelphia, home of NBCU’s parent company Comcast.

Yaccarino noted that during the pandemic, companies worked together to rebuild their businesses.

“We now have the permission to completely change how we work together. So, let's ask ourselves: What are the shared values we need to create impactful relationships? For us, it's trust, connection, and impact. Let's start with trust. Do you know any good relationship without it? That lasted? Or had meaningful impact? I don't,” she said.

NBCU did research on trust that was conducted by MorningConsult. The poll found that 86% of NBCU’s business partners feel NBCU builds trust with customers, 18% higher than key tech platforms. Among decision makers polled 87% said NBCU reaches new customers and 88% it facilitates company growth, while 9 in 10 would recommend NBCU advertising (a convenient finding just a week before NBCU’s upfront presentation).

“Every company needs partners who share its values and passion for generating shared value; who understand that when we help businesses grow, the impact lifts up families, communities, and the entire economy. And we shouldn't settle for anything less. Because when we build trust, the benefits multiply for everyone,” Yaccarino said.

The text of Linda Yaccarino’s post follows:

#WhyTrustMatters: With the Right Partners, It Multiplies 

Almost a year ago, as we stared down a shared crisis, we called for the marketing community to stand shoulder to shoulder and embrace its shared responsibility to rebuild. And we're making progress. But now, as the media and advertising industry enters a new Roaring Twenties, we need to see eye-to-eye on what makes a trusted partnership — because the success of our shared recovery hangs in the balance.

We're all living at the intersection of media and technology, which means marketers needs to forge new alliances across content, distribution, marketing, and technology to reflect our ever-changing reality. And we need to do way more than just rethink WHO we partner with—we need to reimagine HOW we partner. 

Because all too often, partnerships are grounded only in value you can measure rather than the values you share. And those types of shallow relationships limit our progress because they are not sustainable or effective. We now have the permission to completely change how we work together. So, let's ask ourselves: What are the shared values we need to create impactful relationships? 

For us, it's trust, connection, and impact. Let's start with trust. Do you know any good relationship without it? That lasted? Or had meaningful impact? I don't.

Today people see business as the most trusted institution in our society—which means every organization has a massive responsibility to steward that trust. For companies like ours, building trust is connecting with people—giving them everything from a good laugh to reliable information and much-needed comfort. Trust is the foundation of our relationship and connection with our viewers—and partners can build on that trust. 

But, no matter how your organization chooses to build trust, its impact isn't limited to your four walls. Trust has incredible value for your partners and communities.

Recently, we surveyed our partners to understand the impact of these relationships and learned #WhyTrustMatters. Eighty six percent of our partners believe NBCUniversal helps them build trust and relevance, which helps them better connect with their customers. In other words, trust matters—and with the right partners, the impacts can multiply.

But trust isn't a given. It's the hardest thing to build, and the easiest thing to lose. And your partners shouldn’t jeopardize your reputation—they should help build it up. Going forward, all businesses need to choose partnerships very carefully and reframe existing ones around transparency and accountability, consistent feedback and shared ideas.

For our part, we're locking arms with new partners to build the future of advertising to better reflect our values and dynamic consumers. And while we invest across our industry, we're also working to build trust in communities across America. That’s why based on what we've learned from our research, we're forming the first NBCUniversal Community Council in Philadelphia to connect with local business leaders and find every possible way to drive more impact.

Ultimately, whether you're a media company, a technology company, or—like consumers—occupy the space in between, the absolute best measure of any partnership is shared success. We're proud that eighty five percent of businesses surveyed said NBCUniversal made their companies stronger and contributed to overall company growth; and that others believe partnering with us helped grow their business and create new jobs. That's what trusted partnership looks like. That's the type of impact we're after. 

Every company needs partners who share its values and passion for generating shared value; who understand that when we help businesses grow, the impact lifts up families, communities, and the entire economy. And we shouldn't settle for anything less. Because when we build trust, the benefits multiply for everyone.

Tell your partners #WhyTrustMatters to your company.