Nielsen’s Global Survey of Trust in Advertising – which shows most forms of marketing have all seen a decline in trust – has been rubbished by direct marketers after it failed to even include the third largest discipline in terms of media spend, direct mail.
There is not much good news for anyone in the study, which polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries, especially content marketers.
The biggest decline in trust in the UK was recorded by editorial content (down 8% to 54%) followed by emails that consumers sign up for (down 7% to 56%) and newspaper and radio ads (both down 6%).
Of the 19 ad formats covered in the report, only the three least trusted – mobile ads, text ads on mobiles and ads on social networks – have increased in trust over the last two years.
But it is the report’s failure to even ask about direct mail which has miffed the DM industry.
One insider said: “To leave out a sector with a spend of more than £2bn is sloppy at best. Despite its critics in adland, time and time again direct mail outperforms most other media in terms of trust. You only have to look at the latest Royal Mail MarketReach research to see that.”
According to Nielsen, personal recommendation is the format most likely to lead to some form of action being taken by consumers (cited by 71% of respondents), followed by opted-in emails (62%) and TV ads (53%).
According to MarketReach, however, the vast majority of consumers (85%) are most likely to perceive direct mail as having value when it comes from a brand with which they have an existing relationship.
As long as it is personal, value can be found in almost any type of mail, whether special offers, new-product or service information, newsletters, events information, vouchers and reminders and confirmations.
Meanwhile a separate study showed that 55% of those surveyed said that direct mail gives them a better impression of the company compared to 25% for email. In addition, 57% cent of respondents said that receiving mail makes them feel more valued while only 17% said the same for email.
All this appears to be lost on Nielsen’s EVP of marketing effectiveness for Europe, Terrie Brennan.
He said: “The formats where action exceeds trust by the greatest margin share a common attribute: easy access to the product or service. You like it, you buy it. Online and mobile formats make it exceptionally easy for consumers to live in the moment and take quick action on the ad. Often, consumers simply click a link and they’re directed to a place where they can receive more information or purchase the item.”
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