Word-of-Mouth the Most Powerful Selling Tool

Traditional Media Advertising Still More Credible Worldwide Than Ads on
Search Engines, Web Site Banners and Mobile Phones

New York, October 1, 2007 - Despite an ever-expanding array of
advertising platforms and sources, consumers around the world still
place their highest levels of trust in other consumers, according to a
recent global Nielsen Internet survey.

Conducted twice-a-year among 26,486 internet users in 47 markets from
Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East, Nielsen most
recently surveyed consumers on their attitudes toward thirteen types of
advertising - from conventional newspaper and television ads to branded
web sites and consumer-generated content.

"Advertisers around the world are able to reach consumers across an
increasingly diverse range of media platforms," said David McCallum, the
global managing director for Nielsen's Customized Research Services.
"Even so, the recommendation of someone else remains the most trusted
sources of information when consumers decide which products and services
to buy. And even though new media technologies are playing a role in
'globalizing' society, many purchasing decisions are still based on
firmly held national and cultural attitudes. Furthermore, given that
nothing travels faster than bad news - with estimates that reports of
bad experiences outnumber good service reports by as many as 5:1 - the
importance of responsive, high quality customer service is yet again

The Nielsen survey found Filipinos and Brazilians (67%) to be the most
trusting overall of all forms of advertising, while trust among Danes
(28%), Italians (32%), Lithuanians (34%) and Germans (35%) were the
lowest in the world.

Top Five/Bottom Five - Trust in Advertising
Philippines 67%
Brazil 67%
Mexico 66%
South Africa 64%
Taiwan 63%

Latvia 38%
Germany 35%
Lithuania 34%
Italy 32%
Denmark 28%
Source: Nielsen Online Global Consumer Study April 2007
Base: All Respondents

The Nielsen survey also found that while new platforms like the Internet
are beginning to catch up with older media in terms of ad revenues,
traditional advertising channels continue to retain the public's trust.
Ads in newspapers rank second worldwide among all media categories, at
63 percent overall, while television, magazines and radio each ranked
above 50 percent. Such advertising scored best in Latin America and
most poorly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EEMEA)

To What Extent Do You Trust the Following Forms of Advertising?
Recommendations from consumers 78%
Newspapers 63%
Consumer opinions posted online 61%
Brand websites 60%
Television 56%
Magazines 56%
Radio 54%
Brand sponsorships 49%
Email I signed up for 49%
Ads before movies 38%
Search engine ads 34%
Online banner ads 26%
Text ads on mobile phones 18%
Source: Nielsen Online Global Consumer Study April 2007
Base: All Respondents

Although consumer recommendations are the most credible form of
advertising among 78 percent of the study's respondents, Nielsen
research found significant national and regional differences regarding
this and other mediums. Word of mouth, for example, generates
considerable levels of trust across much of Asia Pacific. Seven of the
top ten markets that rely most on "recommendations from consumers" are
in this region, including Hong Kong (93%), Taiwan (91%) and Indonesia
(89%). At the other end of the global spectrum, Europeans, generally,
are least likely to trust what they hear from other consumers,
particularly in Denmark (62%) and Italy (64%).

Word of Mouth is a powerful recommendation for Asians
Seven of the top 10 markets who relied on it hailed from Asia
Hong Kong 93%
Taiwan 91%
Indonesia 89%
India 87%
South Korea 87%

Philippines 86%
Ireland 84%
Mexico 84%
UAE 84%
New Zealand 83%

Top Five/Bottom Five - to rely on someone else's recommendation
Hong Kong 93%
Taiwan 91%
Indonesia 89%
India 87%
South Korea 87%

Hungary 68%
Latvia 68%
Lithuania 64%
Italy 64%
Denmark 62%
Source: Nielsen Online Global Consumer Study April 2007
Base: All Respondents

The reliability of consumer opinions posted online - which rated third,
at 61 percent overall - also varies throughout the world, scoring
highest in North America and Asia, at 66 and 62 percent respectively.
Among individual markets, web-based opinions such as Blogs are most
trusted in South Korea (81%) and Taiwan (76%), while scoring lowest, at
35 percent, in Finland.

Consumer Generated Media - such as Blogs - were considered a reliable
source of information for North Americans and Asians
North America 66%
Asia Pacific 62%
Europe 59%
Latam 53%
Global Average 61%
Source: Nielsen Online Global Consumer Study April 2007
Base: All Respondents

Top Five/Bottom Five - To what extent do you trust the following forms
of advertising: consumer opinions posted online
South Korea 81%
Taiwan 76%
India 73%
Philippines 72%
Poland 72%

Italy 47%
Chile 47%
Estonia 46%
Lithuania 46%
Finland 35%
Source: Nielsen Online Global Consumer Study April 2007
Base: All Respondents

On the other hand, only consumer-generated media and branded web sites
were trusted by more than half of all consumers. Search engine and
banner advertising, along with text ads on mobile phones, each scored at
the bottom of the list with fewer than 35 percent of total respondents.
Regionally, Latin American consumers found these ads most believable,
while Europeans trusted them the least.

47 Markets Covered: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil,
Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland,
Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand,
Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, US and Vietnam

My 10 cents

Sometimes we tend to forget that Mass Communication is not dead yet. Internally we have discussions on creating relevant strategies for our clients on Youtube, Facebook, Ipod, Widgets and Myspace. We have a hard time explaining to our client that they should go on these new media. The question is always why? and will this help me selling tickets, connecting people to gaz or selling more apparel and so on. Our answers are mainly "we don't know! "But we need to try, we need to experience, we need to measure.

Moreover and that's why I like this article, we should still think about mass communications and word of mouth. Either on and off line.

Your opinion on this?

Martin Gauthier


Jean-julien Guyot a dit...

la pub délivre un message à valeur informative mais qui se voudrait plsu persuasif. Son problème est qu'il n'est pas éprouvé par l'expérience réel du consommateur. Il s'agit seulement d'une invitation à découvrir.

Une recommandation plus personnalisée traduit d'une véritable expérience bien qu'elle soit subjective, elle est néanmoins plus efficace compte tenu de la proximité avece laquelle elle est délivrée. De plus, une pub est en mode passif alors qu'une recommandation est en mode actif d'échange.

Mart a dit...

Je suis d'accord avec Jean-Julien, cependant, pour moi, c'est plus simple que cela, plus "anthropologique" aussi.
Je donne toute crédibilité à la recommandation d'un de mes congénères tout simplement parce qu'elle provient d'une personne physique, qui me ressemble, ne tirant aucun bénéfice ou profit de son action, et non d'une personne morale ayant des intérêts lucratifs évidents à me recommander un produit.
Quel serait l'intérêt d'un de mes pairs à me vendre les mérites d’une voiture ou d'un restaurant qui n'est pas bon, ou avec lequel il a eu une mauvaise expérience? Pourquoi mettrait-il sa réputation, sa crédibilité en jeu sans aucune contrepartie, dans un monde où la reconnaissance sociale est primordiale.

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