Majority of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends

However website and text-based advertising is regarded with suspicion, new Forrester Research survey finds

More than two-thirds of adults trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family but are suspicious of brands served up through website and text-based advertising, a new survey claims.

According to Forrester Research’s new survey of 58,000 US consumers, 70 per cent rely on the judgment of their peers for the trustworthiness of a brand, while just 46 per cent trust consumer-written online reviews. In contrast, just 10 per cent trust ads on websites and nine per cent trust text messages from companies or brands.

For Forrester principal analyst, Tracy Stokes, branded content is the answer, giving marketers the ability to gain their customer’s trust through relevant messaging.

“Branded content can bridge the gap between TV’s emotive power and digital advertising’s measurability and efficiency,” she said.

However, Stokes acknowledged most marketers are still struggling to build content at scale, and find it difficult to get the right message to the right consumer at the right time. To overcome this, she advised marketing chiefs to take a systematic, integrated and data-driven approach to content.

Stokes’ comment echo those of Content Marketing Institute founder and strategist, Joe Pulizzi , who chaired the association’s first Content Marketing World event in Sydney in March. He urged marketers to create valuable, relevant content that changed or enhanced a desirable behaviour.

“Marketers are very good at starting content, but not as good at consistency,” he told attendees during his keynotes.

In CMI and the Association for data-driven marketing and advertising’s 2013 content marketing survey, 96 per cent of Australian marketers said they are using content marketing, but 29 per cent are unhappy with its effectiveness.

Among the more telling statistics, Pulizzi said, was that blogs started by marketers had five or less posts on average.

“Content marketing requires moving out of a campaign mentality and preparing for the marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “Content needs to be compelling, valuable, and consistent and do something; it’s more about the business objectives and what the customer’s pain points are.”

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