Trust Is Earned, According To Consumers

According to a new study from Nielsen, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising, an increase of 18% since 2007. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70% of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform, an increase of 15% in four years.

The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that while 47% of consumers around the world say they trust paid television, magazine, and newspaper ads, confidence declined by 24%, 20% and 25% respectively since 2009. Still, the majority of advertising dollars are spent on traditional or paid media, such as television.

In 2011, overall global ad spend saw a 7% increase over 2010, according to the report. This growth in spend was driven by a nearly 10% increase in television advertising, with countries including the U.S. and China attracting more advertising dollars versus the year prior.

Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen, says “... the survey shows that the continued proliferation of media messages may be impacting how well they resonate with their intended audiences on various platforms... consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible... brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers... (to) leverage their goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.”

The survey shows that 58% of global online consumers trust “owned media,” such as messages on company websites, and 50% find content in emails they consented to receive to be credible. 40%  of global respondents find product placements in TV programs to be credible, while 42% trust radio ads and 41% trust pre-movie cinema messages.

Additional findings relevant to trust in online ads show that:

  • 36% of global online consumers report trust in online video ads
  • 33% believe messages in online banner ads, up from 26% in 2007
  • Ads viewed in search engine results are trusted by 40% of global respondents, up from 34% in 2007
  • Sponsored ads on social networking sites are deemed credible by 36% of global respondents

According to the survey, one-third of global respondents trust video or banner display ads on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. 29% of global online consumers said they trust mobile phone text ads, an increase of 21% since 2009 and 61% since 2007.

When considering ad relevance, 50% of global online consumers find TV ads to be personally relevant when they are looking for information on products they want or need. 33% of global respondents find online banners ads to be relevant, compared to ads on social networks (36%) and online video ads (36%). 42% of global consumers find ads in search engine results relevant.

Beard concludes, noting that “... the consumer (expects to see high relevance levels when) actively seeking information... on a brand’s website... or solicited emails... the survey shows that there is still much potential for marketers looking to reach the right audience through advertiser-driven messages.”

For more information, please visit Nielsen here.




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