Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Who trusts what anymore?

Pinched from Web Strategy by Jeremiah
Who do people trust? (It ain’t bloggers)

Posted: 29 Apr 2008 04:47 AM CDT

The question many marketers are trying to answer now, is “Who do people trust?”

I’ve been spending more and more time pouring over data, medium usage, behavioral and preference data for clients, and am learning more and more about how humans behave on the web.

So who do people trust? Three research studies indicate it’s peers, or people they know. And social clout from bloggers, or those with a lot of online friends ain’t it.

1) Forrester Research

What’s interesting is that colleague Josh Bernoff’s weekly post on who do people trust, indicates that people trust their peers the most, and bloggers last. Josh writes:

“What does this mean for your brand? It means that a focus on “influencers” is not enough. You never know who may be reviewing your product, or where. Influencers may touch a lot of people, but so do the masses of reviewers on Yelp, or Amazon.com, or TripAdvisor. And heaven forbid you get people talking about your brand on The Consumerist.”

If people trust the reviews of friend that they know and trust 14% more than your corporate website, what is your web marketing team doing to accommodate this? Are you spending 14% more effort to listen, learn, influence peer reviews? I’ll bet your not, as most brand marketers I know are spending time building microsites, and launching brochure ware on their sites, without think about the impacts of their corporate website becoming irrelevant.

2) Edelman Trust Barometer

In a confirming correlation, Edelmen’s research from Steve Rubel indicates the exact same findings, despite different phrasing of the questions. Steve writes: “both marketers and publishers - continue to focus on reach, they are missing the big picture. Trust is by far a more important metric, one that clearly rules when it comes to influence.”

3) Pollara Research

Steve points to a third research report also validating this claim. Research firm Pollara found similar results:

“According to a new study from Canadian research firm Pollara, self-described social media users put far more trust in friends and family online than in popular bloggers, or strangers with 10,000 MySpace “friends.”

Of more than 1,100 adults polled in December, nearly 80% said they were very or somewhat more likely to consider buying products recommended by real-world friends and family, while only 23% reported being very or somewhat likely to consider a product pushed by “well-known bloggers.”

“This shows that popularity doesn’t always equate to credibility,” said Robert Hutton, executive vice president and general manager at Pollara. “Marketers might have to reconsider who the real influencers are out there.”


Wednesday, 16 April 2008


The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has raised concerns about the impact of Google's trademark policy change. The organisation warns that the move could cost advertisers considerable sums to protect their brands online.

The warning follows last week's unexpected news from Google that it will lift the ban on advertisers bidding on trademark protected keywords. The change will take effect from 5 May.

IPA Search and IPA Digital, two divisions of the advertising trade body, held emergency talks to share their concern about the implications. The discussions have led to IPA Digital recommending that clients meet their agencies to assess the potential impact on their search and advertising strategies.

IPA Digital will also seek a delay in the introduction of the changes and states that the short notice represents a "counter-productive move by a media owner".

The body also says it will seek a better understanding of Google's motivation behind the move and will express its dissatisfaction that Google failed to mention the change during meetings about its trademark policies during late 2007.

Google to allow bidding on Trademarks in the UK and Ireland

by Heidi Edelmuller (gootaquirk.com)

Up to now it has been possible for brands in the UK and Ireland to prevent competitors from bidding on Trademarked terms by submitting a Trademark complaint. Adwords have also always disallowed competitors from using trademarked terms in Ad text.

While Google are retaining the ban on Trademarks within Ad text, they are now lifting the ban on bidding on Trademarked terms – effective 5 May.

Basically this means that Pepsi will be able bid on the term “Coca-Cola”, but still wont able to use “Coca-Cola” in their advert (if Coca Cola have registered their trademark with Adwords, that is).

This is worrying news for those with brands to protect. Up to now many advertisers have saved money by not bidding on their brand terms. With no competitor PPC ads to distract them, searchers simply clicked on the top organic results – which should of course be the official site for which they were searching.

From now on brands will have to start bidding on their own trademarks or trust that searchers won’t be tempted by tantalizing offers from competitors.

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