Epiphanyblog

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Who do you trust?

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Nielsen, the company that rates advertising, recently performed a survey in which they asked people if they trusted online advertising. The answer was a resounding NO.

Our global trust in advertising survey illustrated that the online ad industry has a lot of work to do when it comes to reaching the levels of trust consumers already have in traditional media ads.

Aside from brand Web sites (trusted by 70 percent of online consumers globally) e-mails, sponsored search links, video ads, banner ads and mobile text ads are at the bottom of the trust league.Of course, traditional media advertising forms have been around much longer and, consequently, consumers have had more time to become familiar with these formats, while advertisers and publishers have had more time to come up with the right ad models.

Online is still an embryo compared to these other advertising life forms. It has grown so rapidly that the industry has struggled to come up with a suitable model in these early days. The spam industry has practically killed any chance of e-mail marketing becoming the effective method it really should be. Pop-up ads, and the insane experiments to make it as tricky as possible for consumers to close them, have in fact helped to create negative perceptions surrounding display advertising. Add to this, the irrelevance and inaccuracies of many sponsored link ads when it comes to locating exactly what you’re looking for, and it’s easy to see why online, to a degree, has shot itself in its embryonic foot.

According to the survey:

Recommendations by personal acquaintances and opinions posted by
consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising globally, according to the latest twice-
yearly Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries.

The Nielsen survey, the largest of its kind, shows that nine in every ten Internet consumers worldwide
(90 percent) trust recommendations from people they know, whilst seven in every ten (70 percent)
trust consumer opinions posted online.

Online advertisers need to think about this data. What is says is that people don’t trust advertisers – or the companies doing the advertising – to speak truthfully and honestly. Too much hype, and not enough lean meat.

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