Which Source of Product Information Do Consumers Most Trust?
Nielsen, an influential global marketing research firm, conducts an online survey biannually that assesses consumer attitudes toward a wide variety of marketing-related issues. A recent survey queried Internet users about their trust in various sources of product and service information. More than 26,000 participants from 47 countries around the world were asked to indicate how much they trusted information received from 15 different sources, including traditional ad media (TV, newspapers, magazines, and radio), online ads, and recommendations from other consumers.
The percentages of respondents indicating that they somewhat trusted or completely trusted each source of information are as follows:
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The results of this survey are abundantly clear: Global consumers have greater faith in information from fellow consumers than from traditional ad media, and even less so from online ads and mobile ads (although this has been increasing since 2007).
Overall trust in advertising, regardless of source, varies greatly across countries. Filipinos and Brazilians were the most trusting of all forms of advertising (tied at 67 percent trust), whereas Italians (32 percent) and Danes (28 percent) were the least trusting. The top five and bottom five countries in terms of trust in advertising are as follows:
It is apparent from these findings that consumers vary widely around the globe in terms of their trust (or lack of trust) in different sources of product and service information. It comes as little surprise that information received from other consumers is the most trusted inasmuch as we actively select such information in comparison to advertisements that typically are thrust upon us whether or not we are interested in receiving such information. Especially surprising is the wide differential among countries in terms of their faith in advertising. The low levels of trust among European consumers are particularly intriguing.