The voice of fellow consumers continues to be strongly heard when it comes to the most trusted forms of advertising. Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007, according to a new study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.
- Earned media sources remain most credible
- Trust in traditional paid advertising messages declines
- Confidence in online and mobile advertising increases
- Regional variances offer global marketers opportunities
- Improved relevance in advertising has room to grow
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that while nearly half of consumers around the world say they trust television (47%), magazine (47%) and newspaper ads (46%), confidence declined by 24 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent, respectively, between 2009 and 2011.
Still, the majority of advertising dollars are spent on traditional or paid media, such as television. In 2011, overall global ad spend saw a seven percent increase over 2010, according to Nielsen’s most recent Global AdView Pulse. This growth in spend was driven by a 10 percent increase in television advertising, with countries including the U.S. and China, attracting more advertising dollars versus the year prior.
“While brand marketers increasingly seek to deploy more effective advertising strategies, Nielsen’s survey shows that the continued proliferation of media messages may be impacting how well they resonate with their intended audiences on various platforms,” said Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen. “Although television advertising will remain a primary way marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach compared to other media, consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible. As a result, successful brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their good-will in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.”
As marketers strive to reach consumers with effective ads, particularly in today’s fragmented media environment, relevancy counts. One sure way to boost advertising ROI is to ensure messaging resonates with audiences.
In addition to asking respondents to what extent they trust various forms of advertising, the survey also examined which advertising and brand messaging platforms are most relevant. By this measure, the survey found that relevancy results often mirrored trust responses, indicating there is room for improvement by marketers to make a more personal connection with consumers.