Last week Nielsen released the 2009 Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries. The survey covers degrees of trust consumers have for advertisers/brands. The top 3 are worth highlighting:
There has been an explosion of user generated content, and as a result, consumers have a new way of assessing brands, products and services. The report quotes:
“The explosion in consumer-generated media (CGM) over the last couple of years — we are now tracking over 100 million CGM sources — means consumers' reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don't, has increased significantly”
However when compared to the 2007 study, 2009 shows increase in trust across the board for all forms of advertising except newspapers. So what's happened in the last 2 years to cause this? Nielsen offers:
“it's possible that the CGM (consumer generated media) revolution has forced advertisers to use a more realistic form of messaging that is grounded in the experience of consumers rather than the lofty ideals of the advertisers.”
The key takeaway for me is that “strangers” opinions posted online offer as much trust to the consumer as the company website. That can be a glass half full or half empty depending which side of the social fence you sit on.
What influences your opinion about a product, service or brand? Do you publish your opinions online? Has any brand you've published an opinion contacted you?