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When it comes to swaying consumers, nothing beats word of mouth. That’s because, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising when making a purchase decision, according to a new study. That number was up nearly 20 percent from 2007.
Those findings, however, only begin to highlight the changing advertising model. According to research by Nielsen, fewer than half of all people still find paid traditional television, magazine and newspaper ads credible. Those numbers, however, were down 24 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent respectively across those mediums since 2009. As for online customer reviews, 70 percent of people profess trust in the appraisals, up 15 percent in the past four years.
"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 of 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 goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences."
Online advertisements, on the other hand, are a growing medium. Consumers who find online banner ads credible grew from 26 percent in 2007 to 33 percent of people today. Additionally, ads viewed in search engine results and on social networks were trusted among nearly 40 percent of people. Consumer trust in ads from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as well as text message ads grew 61 percent since 2007.
More creative forms of ads are also starting to grow in credibility. According to the research, nearly 60 percent of consumers responded to advertising on company websites, while 50 percent of consumers responded to company emails. Surprisingly, slightly more than 40 percent of people were swayed when seeing product placements in television shows, radio ads and movie ads.
"The growth in trust for online search and display ads over the past four years should give marketers increased confidence in putting more of their ad dollars into this medium," said Beard. "Many companies are already increasing their paid advertising activity on social networking sites, in part due to the high level of trust consumers place in friends’ recommendations and online opinions. Brands should be watching this emerging ad channel closely as it continues to grow."
The information in the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising survey was based on the responses and behaviors of 28,000 people from 56 countries around the world.
Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.