Consumer Trust in “Discovered” Advertising Prompts Marketers to Change Strategies

Last week, I called attention to a new Gartner study that showed how larger marketers are putting more emphasis on their corporate websites thumbsupthan on social media. If one links consumer trust in marketing to purchase intent, these marketers might be onto something.  Another study, from Forrester, suggests most consumers don’t trust brand posts on social media.

Forrester’s research was based on input from 58,000 online consumers in the U.S. and 15,600 in the U.K. and was an inquiry into their reaction to digital advertising. In every instance, EU consumers find advertising to be less trustworthy than their U.S. counterparts. In addition, the research revealed that most consumers are giving a thumbs-​down to ‘push content’. While brands are being told to get themselves in front of consumers in every new media space, few U.S. consumers say they trust these messages:

  • Company or brand posting on social media sites: 15%
  • Company of brand posting on mobile apps: 12%
  • Ads on websites: 10%
  • Text messages: 9%

It’s not particularly surprising that consumers value recommendations from friends and family above all else (70%). However, 55% of consumers are say that professional online reviews are also highly trustworthy.

Researchers point out these consumer attitudes suggest that brands must do more than push ads and messages at consumers. They must also allow consumers to ‘discover’ the value of their products through online reviews – written either by other consumers or professionals and through natural search. Through these processes, more consumers believe they are getting truthful information about products and services that interest them.

[Source: How Branded Content Will Unlock the Key to Consumer Trust. Forrester​.com. 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.