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Do Your Customers Trust Your Advertising?

By Stephen Da Cambra on April 29, 2012 8:56 pm
Posted in (Business)

Nielsen recently released the results of their latest Global Trust in Advertising Survey (see below). They did their first global survey in 2005 and the findings have since been used by marketers to underscore the high level of trust consumers have in earned advertising, otherwise known as word-of-mouth.

Consumers are almost twice as likely to trust word-of-mouth – recommendations from family and friends – than advertising messages.

Too often, with the release of new data that echoes past findings, we tend to glance over it with an “I knew that” attitude. But, while this survey reinforces what all online marketers and advertisers should already know, a closer look at the numbers shows why they deserve your attention:

  • 97% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know. Only 47% trust TV, magazine and billboard advertising, which is the highest level of trust for traditional advertising media.
  • At 70%, the form of advertising with the second highest level of trust is consumer opinions posted online – another type of word-of-mouth.
  • 48% – the increase in the level of trust from the most trusted form of traditional advertising to the least trusted word-of-mouth advertising.
  • 18% – the increase since 2007 in the percentage of consumers who trust recommendations from family and friends.
  • 15% – the increase since 2007 in the percentage of those who trust consumer opinions posted online.
  • 24%, 20%, 25% – the decrease since 2009 in the levels of trust for TV ads, magazine ads and newspaper ads respectively.
  • 23% – the increase in the level of trust for websites over TV, newspaper and radio ads.

You can draw your own conclusions, but there are certain undeniable facts illustrated by this survey:

  1. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful way to spread your message and develop consumers’ trust in your business – and it is getting more powerful.
  2. Less than half of all consumers trust traditional advertising messages – and the number is dropping at a remarkable rate.

Trust is a major factor in improving your e-commerce conversion rates and it is increasingly clear which is the best form of advertising to develop it.


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