Who Do You Trust?

According to the first ExpertVoice Consumer Trust Panel, presented here without editorial interruption, only 4% of consumers trust celebrity endorsements, while 83% trust the recommendations from friends and family. In today's overcrowded marketplace, consumers are searching for trusted recommendations before making a purchase, says the report.

The consumer panel investigated the buying behavior of a weighted U.S. Census Audience of more than 500 consumers, specifically looking into who consumers trust for recommendations on what to buy. 

The results found that, while celebrity endorsements, athlete sponsorships and influencer marketing have all been proven to raise awareness, this panel found that these tactics aren’t effective at driving consumers to make purchases. When seeking advice on what to buy, 4% seek celebrities, 7% trust professional athletes, and 6% trust social influencers.

With the influencer marketing industry expected to reach $10 billion by 2020, it’s likely brands will be looking for better ways to complement their top of funnel tactics, with efforts that directly drive sales performance, says the report. 

According to 57% of respondents, the greatest concern for consumers regarding celebrity, athlete and influencer recommendations is the monetary compensation given to the individual from the brands they’re promoting. Additionally, in the free response section of the survey, many consumers expressed concern over what knowledge a celebrity possesses regarding the product they’re being paid to endorse. 

An overwhelming 83% of respondents stated that friends and family were their top choice. Responding to the question of who they’ve taken buying advice from in the past year, 85% said friends and family while only 6% took advice from both influencers and athletes and just 2% from celebrities. 

54% said they would trust the recommendation from a professional expert, like a coach or instructor, while 52% would trust the recommendation of coworkers. Retail associates remained neutral in this weighted scale; about 42% of respondents didn’t feel strongly toward the value they offered in providing a valuable recommendation. 

ExpertVoice CEO Tom Stockham concludes by saying “… brands spend significant marketing dollars to raise awareness and ensure they’re top of mind for the consumer…, but the results of this panel indicate that when it comes to actually purchasing a product, consumers want a recommendation from someone they believe to be authentic… in today’s environment, celebrities, influencers and sometimes even the brands themselves aren’t viewed as trusted… so consumers are looking elsewhere…” 

For additional information from the PRNewswire, please visit here.



4 comments about "Who Do You Trust?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 27, 2018 at 12:34 p.m.

    Jack, once again, this type of highly generalized and impressionistic study has little information that can guide advertisers. Take the question of using celebrity endorsers as an example. doesn't it all depend on who you pick and whether that person seems credible as an endorser for a specific product or service? Or do we assume that just because a sample of people, asked to rate endorsers in general, said that they have little trust in "them", that this means advertisers should shun this time honored approach---which works about as often as it doesn't?  It has always been true that for many products a recommendation from a family member or 'friend" is very important and, often, can be decisive in getting a consumer to try a product he/she is not familiar with. Nothing new there. But from an advertising standpoint, this kind of research does nothing to disuade a marketer who wants a lot of visibility for an ad campaign as well as a positive impact from using the right endorser---providing such person can be found at an affordable price.

  2. Delia Smalter from Women's Choice Award, June 27, 2018 at 2:53 p.m.

    Ed, I agree it really does depend on who you choose and their "trust value" to the customer. Our research with women came up with similar results and we found that our influencer community can vary in results from impressive to dissapointing, that's why we spend lots of time connecting our brands to the blogger that will best serve that brand. And in order for a blogger to become a Women's Choice Award Influencer they need to go through a "trust test" and demonstrate great engagement and loyalty. Another way to influence a purchase is at retail. We are experiencing impressive results with our award program at Walmart. Goes to show that validation is what consumer want - not to waste time or money.  

  3. Nick Stagge from ExpertVoice, June 27, 2018 at 4:21 p.m.

    No doubt, celebrity endorsements can have significant value within a marketing mix. Dior has successfully worked with celebrity Charlize Theron to build brand recognition and associated imagery. Steph Curry has had tremendous impact on Under Armor's basketball shoe sales.

    However, as the consumers buying journey evolves they are looking for specific recommendations on what to buy. Consumers are overwhelmed with top of the funnel advertising (and for good reason), but they crave support throughout all phases of the buying journey.

    As marketers - we must recognize this shift and find a way to credibly move a consumer through the point of consideration and towards purchase.

  4. PJ Lehrer from NYU, July 6, 2018 at 10:24 a.m.

    Since all decisions have become tribal, both friends and family - who are identified as key influencers here and celebrities who are not, are driving decisions, despite trust issues.   

    More here...

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