Word Of Mouth, Owned Advertising Continue To Gain Consumers’ Trust

In a recent blog post on MediaPost Publications’ Marketing Daily, the findings of Nielsen’s 2013 “Global Survey of Trust in Advertising” were revealed, and some interesting insights emerged.

The worldwide survey canvassed more than 29,000 internet users in 58 countries about 19 forms of paid, earned and owned media, with an eye towards gauging levels of consumer trust in each of those forms of media.

The highest-rated form of media, with a consumer trust rating of 84%, was word-of-mouth recommendations from their friends and families. Word-of-mouth marketing, often abbreviated to WOM, easily outpaced the next highest-rated form of media, which was “owned advertising.” Owned advertising, defined as content and messaging on brand-operated Web sites, was trusted by 69% of survey respondents. In third place, just a hair behind owned advertising, was “online customer views and opinions,” trusted by 68% of worldwide consumers.

As interesting as these findings were in and of themselves, it was even more interesting to note that each of those top three trusted forms of media saw an increase of 6% or more since 2007. Owned advertising saw the biggest uptick of the three over the past six years, jumping up a whopping 9% from a previous rating of 60% in 2007.

The Nielsen survey also demonstrated a strong link between trust levels and action levels. Recommendations from friends and family, followed by online consumer opinions, generated the highest levels of action – 84% and 70%, respectively. Remember, those two forms of measured media ranked 1 and 3 when it came to trust levels.

Another interesting finding in the global survey involved a sharp spike in trust levels when it comes to online banner advertising, also known as display advertising. While overall trust levels in banner advertising were relatively modest, at 42%, this represented an amazing 16% increase since the 2007 survey findings, which rated consumer trust of banner advertising at a paltry 26%.

Here at the official blog of Amplitude Digital, we’ve long been singing the praises of banner advertising – and cautioning against throwing dirt on a premature grave for display advertising. So it was good to see this informative, in-depth and truly global survey confirm what we have believed all along.

Some more traditional and time-honored forms of advertising also gained trust with consumers, according to the survey. Television trust levels rose 6% from 2007 to a 62% mark in 2013, and magazine advertising trust levels spiked from 56% to 60%.

At Amplitude Digital, we continue to be big believers in the power, reach and relevancy of more “Old School” mediums like television and print magazines, and along with our partners at Always On Communications, we advocate that all our clients learn and practice the increasingly rare art of media targeting.

And once again, the findings in this survey only empower us to continue to preach this message. And to keep on practicing what we preach.

What are your thoughts on this survey? Have you had any great success stories with word of mouth or owned advertising you’d like to share? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments section below this blog.

We look forward to hearing from you. And feel free to spread the word!

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