More Data: We Trust the People We Know

by Marianne Richmond on January 22, 2007

According to a new study by BIGresearch the most influential media is 100% consumer generated. This study is consistent with prior data from Yankelovich indicating that 76% of consumers in their survey don’t believe that companies tell the truth in advertising.

Of further interest, the BIGresearch study found that consumers use more than one media at a time: Over two thirds use other media while watching TV; 68 percent use other media while reading the newspaper and 70.7 percent use other media while signed into the internet.

The BIGresearch study also noted a related and important shift. In response to the question about which media most influenced purchase decisions the findings were that "consumers’ choices are rarely in line with advertisers’ expenditures." In other words you can’t buy attention with dollars; you earn attention by the value of your content, product or service. If the value is high, people point to it, link to it, recommend it and then you get attention.

So, more confirmation that consumers don’t trust advertisers but they do trust the opinions of others…plus they are not really focusing on one message, but many messages delivered at the same time by different media. The interaction of trust, technology and continuous partial attention. Tough crowd.

Marketing Vox had a post today called When User Generated Ad Campaigns Go Bad from OneParkAvenue who was making the point that Dove’s campaign dovecreamoil.com was a bust because it had only received a one star rating from the 10,000 people who had viewed it; and comments had to be closed because there were so many YouTube users who were not happy that Dove did not seem to understand their culture. Apparently the same ad did significantly better when placed on AOL. The question was posed regarding the difference in the two sites in terms of the relevance of this ad.

In the new social media world to earn attention and to generate attention you need to be relevant to those you are trying to reach…..and reach them where they are. And, while you are there, build community and trust.

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