Paid vs. earned trust in ads…which one do your customers trust?

Advertising Dollars continue to rise to almost $128 billion in Q1 – 2012 (Nielsen report), yet marketers need to ask themselves in which ad-format to invest their advertising budget.

Trust in advertising channels

Trust in advertising channels

Nielsen’s study confirms that trust is an important and ever increasing factor in advertising. Earned trust through social recommendation or consumer reviews scored by far the highest. With advertising blindness growing, Amazon, ebay and facebook sponsored stories are just a few examples of organisations or ad solutions capturing the essence of earned trust effectively.

What does this mean for us marketers?

Stage campaigns and build upon the trust continuum! The buying funnel customers move through today has changed tremendously from the one 20 years ago. Many purchase decisions have been started online both through impulsive product awareness (paid trust) to recommendations and social mingling (earned trust). Adapt your campaigns and advertising spending holistically; it is not anymore a single campaign or ad that get’s placed but a channel strategy to move customers along the trust continuum to the final objective: conversion (sales).

Trust is built upon a continuum from paid to earned, the more likely marketers accept that trust is hardly bought for ad Dollars, the easier it will be to build staged campaigns as suggested above.

Convince the C-suite today! How often have you heard, we need to increase in ad spendings to drive sales. Not anymore – well, not in every case. Work on the value proposition and communicate this internally. Earned and owned trust is also developed through word of mouth (on- and offline). Owned trust (e.g. claims on your website) can easily be ruined by a faulty customer service experience, which in turn results in a decrease in earned trust through negative reviews! Make your C-suite aware of this trend.

Whilst spending for earned and owned trust advertising types continues, it might be a trend which marketers should rethink to increase the ROI on ad budget spendings.

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