Marketing research in the context of trust in the public sector: A case of the digital environment

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Trust in public services is a driving force of socio-economic development. It ensures effective dialogue between citizens and government and becomes especially relevant in the digitalization. The lack of trust in the public sector can make reforms ineffective and the achievement of the goals of the Ministry of Digital Transformation within the framework of the State Strategy for Regional Development of Ukraine until 2027 in question. For this reason, marketing tools in public services should be directed toward achieving greater trust in those services and the government. This paper analyzes the current research on public sector marketing and its role in building trust as a foundation for the country’s digital development. Implementing multi-level bibliometric (Scopus tools), network (VOSviewer), and comparative (Google Trends) analysis, this study traces the development of marketing research on the process of public services delivery transformation from traditional to digital. 922 studies published between 1968 and 2022 were analyzed. The results show that public sector marketing is a multidisciplinary field of scientific research that is actively developing. Cluster analysis demonstrated that its modernization and the relationship between marketing in services and consumer behavior are the smallest and newest spheres of research. Researchers consider relationship marketing the principal mechanism for building trust in the public sector. This study found little research on the impact of marketing tools on consumers’ trust in public services. The comparative analysis confirmed the hypothesis of the need to change marketing tools due to the massive shift from offline to online services.

Acknowledgment
The authors acknowledge the funding in terms of the projects “Simulation modeling of the trajectory of the impact of behavioral attractors on macroeconomic stability: the role of transparency and public trust (0121U100469)” and “Modeling mechanisms for de-shadowing and de-corrupting the economy to ensure national security: the impact of the financial behavioral patterns transformation (№ 0122U000783)”.

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    • Figure 1. Publishing trends in public sector marketing
    • Figure 2. The initial analysis of documents by subject area
    • Figure 3. Graphic visualization of research on public service marketing
    • Figure 4. Overlay visualization map of spatio-temporal measurement of research on public sector marketing according to the Scopus database
    • Figure 5. Overlay visualization map of countries’ co-authorship measurement of research on public service marketing according to the Scopus database
    • Figure 6. Overlay visualization map of country citations measurement of research on public service marketing according to the Scopus database
    • Figure 7. Comparison of Google search queries in trust “Digital public service” AND “Traditional public service” (2017–2022)
    • Table 1. Methodological tools and their features
    • Conceptualization
      Veronika Litovtseva, Aleksandra Kuzior, Tetiana Vasylieva
    • Data curation
      Veronika Litovtseva, Dariusz Krawczyk, Aleksandra Kuzior
    • Formal Analysis
      Veronika Litovtseva, Tetiana Vasylieva
    • Investigation
      Veronika Litovtseva
    • Resources
      Veronika Litovtseva, Maryna Brychko
    • Software
      Veronika Litovtseva, Maryna Brychko
    • Validation
      Veronika Litovtseva, Dariusz Krawczyk, Tetiana Vasylieva
    • Writing – original draft
      Veronika Litovtseva, Dariusz Krawczyk
    • Writing – review & editing
      Veronika Litovtseva, Aleksandra Kuzior, Maryna Brychko, Tetiana Vasylieva
    • Methodology
      Aleksandra Kuzior, Maryna Brychko
    • Visualization
      Aleksandra Kuzior, Maryna Brychko
    • Project administration
      Maryna Brychko, Tetiana Vasylieva