Wake Up, Marketers - Consumer Trust In Brand Messages Waning

Just 22% of consumers trust emails from companies or brands, 13% trust ads on Web sites, and only 32% trust ads in any channel, per research released Thursday.

Consumers are done with traditional marketing campaigns. More often than not, they interact with brands they love outside of a targeted campaign, and it's the marketer's job to identify the context of those interactions and build on them to create new forms of useful, continuous engagement, per Forrester Research.

When asked about the extent that consumers trust in advertising and promotions, 32% of survey participants said they trust information on company or brand Web sites; 30% said they trust sponsored search engine query results or ads on engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo; 24% said they trust ads in newspapers; 23% said they trust ads on TV; 22% said they trust ads in magazines; 20% said they trust in radio; 20% said they trust emails from brands or companies; and 18% said they trust posts by brands or companies on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Consumers trusted the messages in text message ads the least at 12%.

Forrester suggests that consumers have begun to "tune out even as marketers turn up the volume." The report -- The Powers Of Customer Context, scheduled for release next week -- focuses on real-time interactions between brands and consumers. Forrester calls this model "contextual marketing engines" because the campaigns deliver self-perpetuating cycles of real-time interactions that drive insights for consumers who want information about the product or the service.

The analyst firm defines a contextual marketing engine as a "brand-specific platform that exploits customer context to deliver utility and guide the customer into the next best interaction." Tools required include marketing automation, real-time analytics, customer databases, and personalized content delivered contextually throughout the customer life cycle. I emphasize the words "consumer life cycle" because successful brands don't build relationships with consumers for a one-off sale. They build relationships for a lifetime. Sometimes that means many lifetimes because they pass on the brand love to their kids. Now their children love the brand, too. (We'll discuss that topic at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit in Key Largo, Fla., April 28-30.)

Most companies do not take the risks associated with wowing consumers in advertising campaigns. Technology, no matter how innovative, continues to deaden the senses, so it requires a higher level of interaction to reach consumers. Forrester analysts hint at this theory in the report and point to McCormick & Company, Mini USA and Nike as innovators with the "contextual marketing engines" model. The report follows the steps through each of the company's strategies and tells us why traditional campaigns no longer work.

Forrester's Forrsights Networks And Telecommunications Survey, Q1 2013, was fielded to 2,487 IT executives and technology decision-makers located in Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. from SMB and enterprise companies with two or more employees.

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2 comments about "Wake Up, Marketers - Consumer Trust In Brand Messages Waning".
  1. Maarten Albarda from Flock Associates (USA) , April 10, 2014 at 6:05 p.m.
    Laurie: is the "Foresights" research really the source for this data? If so, it is over a year old and not a data source for consumer insights but a B2B research. It says in your last paragraph: "Forrester's Forrsights Networks And Telecommunications Survey, Q1 2013, was fielded to 2,487 IT executives and technology decision-makers located in Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. from SMB and enterprise companies with two or more employees."
  2. Laurie Sullivan from lauriesullivan , April 10, 2014 at 6:15 p.m.
    Forrester will release the report April 14, 2014, with part of the data coming from a survey done in 2013, per the report. The survey is part of Forrester’s Forrsights for Business Technology series.