Word-of-mouth (WOM) recommendations from friends and family and user-generated content (UGC) are sources most trusted for information about the products people want and need, according to a new report by Nielsen.
Among consumers surveyed in North America:
- 90% trust (completely or somewhat) the recommendations they receive from friends and family.
- 68% trust consumer opinions posted online.
- 61% trust editorial content such as newspaper articles.
Roughly one-third of North American consumers trust content they find on social media (31%), in online video ads (31%), and paid-search ads (35%), while only one in four say online banner ads (28%), display ads via smartphones and tablets (26%) and text ads on mobile phones (25%) are credible.
Global citizens are slightly more trusting than Americans of word-of-mouth recommendations (92% vs. 90%) and online consumer reviews (70% vs. 68%).
Global citizens also put more trust in social and mobile ads: 36% say they trust ads delivered via social media (vs. 31% for North Americans) and 33% say they trust display ads served via mobile devices (vs. 26%).
Europeans have the lowest levels of trust in all but one advertising/messaging format: consumer opinions posted online (64%).
Below, other findings from Nielsen's Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages Report, issued in April 2012.