Nielsen Study Shows Paid Ads Alone Are Not Trusted by Consumers
Marketers need to converge paid, owned and earned media
By John Consoli -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/19/2012 2:30:16 PM
Branded websites, however, are trusted more than any type of advertising other than recommendations from friends and consumer opinions posted online.
The study shows that the best form of advertisement for a brand is to win over users who then can tout it to their friends or in comments online. In the study, 92% of people said they "trust completely or somewhat" recommendations from people they know when buying a product; 70% trust consumer opinions posted online.
Branded websites and editorial articles about products and brands are each trusted by 58% of those surveyed, while information in an email a consumer signs up for is trusted by 50% of those surveyed. No other advertising is trusted by more than 50% of the respondents.
Ads on television, ads in magazines, outdoor advertising and brand sponsorships are each trusted by 47% of those surveyed. Ads in newspapers are trusted by 46%, ads on radio by 42% and ads before movies in theaters by 41%.
And for those marketers who believe that product integrations can work because they are seamless-only 40% of respondents trust TV program product placements.
Online video ads and ads on social networks are trusted by only 36%, online banner ads and display ads on mobile devices by 33% and text ads on mobile phones by 29%.
The survey points out that while paid advertising scores low, the medium continues to thrive, hinting that marketers may need to reevaluate how they spend their promotion dollars.
Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions at Nielsen, says for most brands, a strategy that would give up paid advertising completely and move into more branded websites and social media "isn't really feasible given both the broad reach and historical success associated with paid media."
Instead, Beard says, "we need to start thinking of how paid, owned and earned can work together to improve trust and deliver better results." He says marketers "continue to discuss them as if they are mutually exclusive media. They're not. And now technology is blurring the lines of paid, owned and earned media more than ever. Paid can now also be social, as social is often about paid. Owned can have paid embedded media in it. And sometimes, all three can exist in one consumer touch point."
Nielsen offers three examples of convergence between paid, owned and earned media.
1. Combining paid ads with social advertising
"Research on Facebook ads with and without a social layer shows that social ads generate much stronger breakthrough and purchase intent than ads without a social layer," Beard says. The reason is that knowing that the advertised brand is liked by friends builds trust.
Nielsen research shows that a brand gets 55% greater ad recall when a social element is added.
2. Paid digital advertising can drive consumers to a brand's owned media
In one example of many in a Nielsen study that yielded the same results, 5.4% of those exposed to an online display campaign for a brand subsequently visited that brand's website, while only 0.4% not exposed to the online display advertising visited that brand's website.
3. Owned media can work harder than paid media alone
An example in the Nielsen study shows that exposure to a brand's website drove almost three times the sales lift of paid digital ads alone.
"Addressing the truth deficit in advertising is more than just making ads that are true," Beard says. "It's also about how to use paid, owned and earned media to your brand's advantage. Why not build social into your paid advertising where possible, use your paid ads to drive consumers to your website and optimize your site to drive maximum on- or off-line purchases? Why not experiment with the myriad ways to engage your customers across the paid, owned and earned continuum?"
Beard says overcoming the trust deficit in advertising is "about adding in social and owned media experiences in ways that give paid media more legitimacy, enabling it to work harder for your brand."
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