Does Your Marketing Plan Match Up with Ads Consumers Trust?

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Does Your Marketing Plan Match Up with Ads Consumers Trust?

Analysis of a new Nielsen Advertising Trust survey points out that budgets and marketing plans aren’t always geared to make the most of the ads consumers trust most.

October is long range planning month. If that means you’re in the midst of updating your strategic long range plan, business plan and marketing plan for the New Year, you’re not alone. As you decide which marketing strategies and tactics will receive the most time and resources promoting your business next year, make sure that you take Nielsen’s consumer trust index into consideration.

The Types of Ads Consumers Trust Most

It should come as no surprise, the advertising channel that 80% of consumers trust most are recommendations from people they know, according to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising survey of more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries. But it might surprise you to find out that branded websites come in a solid second on the list, ahead of newspaper editorials, consumer ratings and reviews, TV ads and many other formats. At the bottom of the list when it comes to consumer trust in advertising are text ads, and ads in five key areas relative to digital marketing: online banner ads, mobile ads, ads on social networks, ads in search engine results and online video ads.

Does Your Marketing Plan Match Up with Ads Consumers Trust?

The Types of Ads Consumers Trust Motivate them to Take Action

Trust is one thing, buying actions are another. The list of ad channels that consumers said led them to take action is fairly similar both in terms of channels at the top and channels at the bottom. Personal recommendations, branded websites and consumer opinions (reviews and ratings) posted online come in as motivational while text ads, ads on social networks, banner ads, mobile ads, and online video ads again rank among the least motivational. Ads in search engines still come in below the mid-point with just 58% of consumers saying that search engine ads led to purchases.

Does Your Marketing Plan Match Up with Ads Consumers Trust?

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Do Marketing Priorities Align with the Ads Consumer Trust Most?

The short answer appears to be: No.

At first glance, it seems that marketers may be spending their money in all the wrong places, instead of on the type of ads consumers trust most. When Salesforce surveyed marketers about where they would be focusing their time and resources this year in the 2015 State of Marketing by Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the areas that consumers say they trust least came in among the top priorities in marketing. The top five areas where marketers planned to increase their budgets this year are:

  • 70% – social media ads
  • 70% – social media marketing
  • 67% – social media engagement
  • 67% – location-based mobile tracking
  • 66% – mobile apps
  • 65% – mobile push notifications and 58% – mobile text messaging

In addition, 60% planned to spend more on display ads, 60% planned to spend more on videos and 62% planned to spend more on SEM, which includes ads placed in search results. The number that planned to spend more on branded websites was near the bottom of the list, although still more than half of the marketers surveyed.

Does Your Marketing Plan Match Up with Ads Consumers Trust?

How Do Your Marketing Priorities Stack Up?

If the competition is focused on building an audience and brand credibility using channels consumers tend to view with skepticism, it stands to reason that businesses that focus their efforts on the marketing and advertising channels that consumers trust the most and which are most likely to get them to take action may be able to produce a better return on their marketing efforts. Better marketing ROI, more efficient use of time and money, more effective lead generation and conversions – all of these benefits could follow for brands that focus on building their presence in the ad formats that consumers trust most.

As you set goals for the holiday season and next year, make sure that the marketing strategies and tactics you plan to employ take consumer behavior and opinion into account. Three of the top four marketing channels that consumers trust and are inclined to take action based on are within your ability to influence and can be accomplished at a fairly low cost: branded websites and consumer opinions.

If you do not yet have a marketing strategy that encourages your customers to leave reviews and ratings for your business online, now is the time to start. You can generate editorial content in the form of self-published press releases which make it to all the major news wires starting at about $100 per release, without even talking to a reporter! And increasing lead generation and conversions on your company website might require nothing more than updates, such as bringing meta tags and page content in line with Google’s best practices for search and updating your web copy to reflect the pain points, wants and needs of your target audiences.

No matter the size of your business, you can grow more quickly if you work smarter – not harder – when it comes to marketing. Focus your energies on the things that are within your control that produce the best return.


We offer business loans and merchant cash advances which can be used to finance strategic advertising and marketing campaigns to help with growing a business during the holidays and all year long.


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  1. […] year we shared Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising data which listed the types of ads and marketing today’s consumers trust most, today we’re going to […]

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