Can I trust you?

The tide is turning – or so it seems if the latest research by the marketing platform Mention Me is to be believed. The study delved into the impact of trust marketing and the decreasing trust in social and traditional channels.

The usually conservative Brits are now less trusting of the messages coming from traditional advertising mediums.

The now adventurous, and somewhat braver, Brits prefer to discover new products all on their own, with the aid of family and friends and the ever-trusted internet search engines.

So how do the numbers weigh up?

After all the number crunching is over, customer self-discovery (which includes friends’ recommendations, internet-based influencers such as bloggers (Thank You), and review sites), trounced traditional forms (Newspapers, billboards, mail shots etc) by almost 3:1; or 71% to 29% for those who wish to be ever so slightly more accurate.

These figures were shown to be true for all sectors;

· Beauty 75% to 25%

· Travel 73% to 27%

· Fashion 74% to 26%

· Smart Home Tech 70% to 30%

· Energy 69% to 31%

· Finance 67% to 33%

This wasn’t the only conclusion which seemed startling; in addition to the shift in trust the research also seemed to lend support to the ailing high streets. Harbingers usually spell doom and gloom for the high street, this research offers a glimmer of hope, showing 60% of fashion shoppers preferring the traditional in-store experience for making a new discovery; the figures are not as impressive for beauty shoppers, but hold their own at 37% more popular for the in-storers.

 

Now for the science bit…

Endorsements are invaluable for marketers – ultimately its the reasons why billions are spent every year bringing in the A-listers. Research points out endorsed products have the edge over non-endorsed product, the endorsement adding trust to the brand.

Two psychological filters are applied when a friend makes a recommendation – not that we sit around with a check list; you just have to follow me on this one.

Number one – our reputation, as a recommender is at stake – and we know we all like to be held in high esteem by nearest and dearest. Our word is our bond – and in this case of our recommendation speaks volumes of us. As a result, the default position of the one who is introduced can readily and merrily trust the recommendation.

Number two – relevance – we know what our friends’ needs are, and they know ours. When we make a recommendation we naturally take this into consideration.

This is the marketer’s dream, to read the mind of the buyer, his / her desires and needs and pitch the relevant brand – the right message, packaged and presented at the right time. Shortening the journey from pitch to purchase.

But…..

As with most things in life, some are more equal than others. Not all recommendations are equal. Despite bucket loads of money thrown at professional bloggers and the YouTubers , their recommendations are preferred by less than 3% across all sectors.

The key to all of this is trust. Summarised perfectly by Mention Me’s very own CEO, Andy Cockburn

 

“Trust is an increasingly important theme across all elements of society and marketing is no different. Trust marketing is about thinking how brands manage the most valuable currency they have with their customers. It’s not surprising that consumers now have a preference to discover new products from the sources they trust most, particularly personal recommendations.”

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