For you trivia buffs in the audience, there once was a TV game show called “Who Do You Trust?” The host of the show was a struggling comic named Johnny Carson and a year into the run he picked up a guy named Ed McMahon as his announcer sidekick. The rest is television history.
That bit of history has very little to do with today’s topic other than it asks the question the study I want to highlight answers. Who do you trust? For consumers, the answer appears to be one another. Nielsen released its Global Trust in Advertising Survey and it shows that
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.
That’s the good news. The bad?
…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.
You can read more about this here but the data reinforces the fact that we’re in the midst of a huge transition in marketing. While most brands are still making the bulk of their marketing investment in paid media, the messages those media disseminate are declining in effectiveness as consumers find other sources of credible information to help with purchase decisions. Visibility and relevance are not the same thing.
More brands are making efforts in what’s popularly called “earned media.” They hire an intern to monitor message broads and social media while at the same time they spend millions paying creative types and media buys to work on their TV and print. While I’m not for a minute suggesting the abandonment of traditional media, perhaps it’s time to look at reallocating resources better to reflect modern realities? The money spent on the last two titles on your media plan could be working a lot more effectively elsewhere in media more trusted by your consumers.