Nielsen is mostly known as the company that places a handful of boxes and diaries in the homes of precious few Americans and based on that woefully inadequate sampling determines the television ratings which drive hundreds of billions of dollars of advertising revenue. The company also provides a wealth of information about online commerce and fortunately it does so with a more sturdy statistically valid scientific approach. Its recent report on how consumers trust various forms of brand presence in a variety of mediums is of interest to all online marketers as understanding how the customer reacts to brand messaging is critical to creating the ultimate customer experience.
Most online ads are distrusted by the majority of consumers
Just about all forms of conventional ads are distrusted
There are only two forms which are trusted and neither are ads
The customer review sites are your new preferred brand medium
The takeaways from this Nielsen report when it comes to creating the best possible customer experience for your brand are fairly simple. If you truly want to get your customer engaged and provide a completely satisfying experience for them, your advertising has to stop being advertising at all. Of all the avenues open to a brand in promoting their products and services through an individual not directly and personally known to the specific customer, the single most effective one is to solicit opinions about your brand and have them posted online. The customer review sites are thus your new preferred advertising medium and you should take all possible steps to ensure that the reviews you solicit are numerous and hopefully positive.
The conclusion to the findings of this Nielsen report are clear: Your customers don’t trust your brand, but they do trust their fellow customers when they are discussing your brand. That means that all the billions of dollars spent in advertising each year could readily be replaced by coherent efforts to incentivize customers to post their opinions! Whoda believed it?
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