Yesterday Forrester Research released its latest report on digital marketing after taking a survey from consumers in both North America and Europe.
The North American survey polled 58,068 US and 5,635 Canadian online adults in Q2 2012, while the European poll took place in Q3 2012, polling 20,778 Europeans from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
The report leaves advertising and social media marketing practitioners on both sides of the Atlantic high and dry.
- Only 10% of consumers trust advertising.
- Between 85% and 90% of consumers don’t trust posts by companies or brands on social networking sites.
- Branded mobile apps are almost worthless in terms of consumer engagement with only 10% to 12% of consumers saying they trust the information given there.
- Emails from companies and brands are only trusted by 11% of Europeans and 18% of Americans.
- Europeans trust all brand communications less than Americans.
The good news for digital marketers is that self-selected digital pull content rules the roost with up to 70% of consumers affirming that they trust brand recommendations from friends and a median 46% saying they trust online consumer reports and reviews.
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Forrester Research Principal Analyst, Tracy Strokes, the author of the report says: “Brand-led advertising online and offline has lost its allure. Today’s consumers decide where, when, and how they want to engage with brands. With multiple interconnected devices at their fingertips at any one time, these perpetually connected consumers can opt in or out of content as they choose… Marketers face a higher bar to engage consumers, who have more media options than ever before.”
Her report goes on to advocate branded content, which “has the ability to create brand differentiating by bridging the gap between TV’s emotive power and digital media’s efficient reach.”.
Forrester defines branded content as:
Content that is developed or curated by a brand to provide added consumer value such as entertainment or education. It is designed to build brand consideration or affinity, not sell a product or service. It is not a paid ad, sponsorship or product placement.
Branded Content, SEO, SEM and Website Design specialists are going to be more in demand than ever, especially in Europe.