April 10, 2012

Word of Mouth Marketing Still the Most “Trusted” Among Consumers (Report)

A recent study by Nielsen shows that consumers find recommendations and from friends, family or online users to be the most “credible” sources of marketing. The study, comprised of results from about 28,000 respondents, found that 92% trusted word of mouth marketing the most, followed by anonymous ratings and reviews found online (72%).

“As a result,” said Randall Beard, global head of Advertising Solutions at Nielsen, “successful brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.”

In the realm of online advertising, however, consumers found search engine ads to be the most relevant (42%), up 34% since 2007. The results of the study, comprised of answers of 28,000 online respondents, showed that online video ads (36%) and social networking ads (36%) were found to be slightly more relevant to consumers than banner ads (33%).

“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,” Beard said in a press release.

Overall, ad spend in 2011 was up 7% from 2010, but this year’s trend may be growth in word of mouth marketing tactics, through social networks and other creative ways to foster positive user reviews.

“Brands should be watching this emerging ad channel closely as it continues to grow,” he said.

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