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How Much Do Consumers Trust Your Advertising?

Do people honestly trust your company’s advertising? According to one infographic by Ambassador, 9 out of 10 young adults ages 18-34 say that they trust that advertising at least sometimes. But only 47% of consumers supposedly believe the advertising. And 57% of all respondents believed that ads are somewhat exaggerated.

Take a moment. Reread those and process those statistics.

Advertising keeps changing. Don Draper’s forms of advertising no longer rule the ad world—interactive, digital media is moving in. And thus, it’s important for brands to realize which forms of online advertising audiences are most receptive to—which ones they trust, and which ones they see right through.

So, here’s a list, ranked some of the most trusted sources to the least based on the aforementioned Ambassador infographic.

Recommendations from people I know
It’s the oldest form of advertising and still the most effective way to get your product sold. How can your company benefit? Start collecting testimonials and put a referral program in place to collect your fans’ stories so you can share with your prospects.

Consumer opinions posted online
It’s a sad but true fact that consumers trust reviews and comments of complete strangers more than they trust your advertising. Combat bad reviews through good customer service and quality products. If you’re running your business in the right way, you should be able to generate great reviews. Make sure you’re monitoring social media for any words that may be said about you.

Emails I signed up for
After editorial content and branded websites, emails that your customers signed up for (not spam) are the most trusted form of advertising. Start collecting emails now and create a regular email marketing program that delivers valuable content and relevant offers to segmented and targeted lists of your customers and prospects.

The list of trusted advertising strategies continues with traditional advertising such as television, magazine, newspaper and radio ads, in that order. Less trusted advertising sources were sited as social network ads, online banner ads, display ads on mobile devices. The least trusted? Text ads on mobile devices.

It’s important to note that the trust survey, conducted by Nielsen, focused on digital media and did not include direct mail advertising as an option for those polled. In a study conducted by Epsilon in late 2012, direct mail edged email in most industries for being a trusted advertising source.

So as business owners, how do we make sense of these consumer trends? It’s important to understand that consumer advertising preferences are changing and that a multi-channel approach is typically best for most businesses. It may take a few trial-and-error campaigns to see what works best for you, but in today’s market most companies don’t have the luxury to not advertise at all.

In the end providing great products and services through amazing customer service and you’ll at least fuel the sales engine with age-old word of mouth.

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