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Indians trust recommendations more than advertisements

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A study has indicated that 87 per cent Indians trust recommendations from others over any other kind of advertising, making ‘word of mouth’ advertising the most powerful tool.

According to the recent Nielsen Internet survey, India ranks fourth among the top ten countries that trust recommendations from consumers. Hong Kong leads the list with 93 per cent. Seven of the top ten markets that rely most on ”recommendations from consumers” are in Asia.

Conducted twice a year among 26,486 internet users in 47 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and West Asia, Nielsen most recently surveyed consumers on their attitudes toward 13 types of advertising – from conventional newspapers and television ads to brand websites and consumer-generated content.

Newspapers came in second (77 per cent) on the list of advertising media that Indian consumers trust the most. Consumer opinions posted online and brand websites came a little ahead of television advertising with 73 and 72 per cent, respectively.

Television came in at number five with 65 per cent of Indian respondents considering television advertising as trustworthy. ”As a consumer, one is exposed to advertising in various media, but what touches one’s chord is either a very innovative message or a product, which is good value-for-money. Word of mouth brings with it a big ‘trust’ factor, which is quite often missing in other forms of advertising,” said Sarang Panchal, executive director, Nielsen (client solutions).

Advertisements in newspapers rank second (77 per cent) in India and also globally among all media categories, at 63 per cent. Other traditional forms of advertising like television, magazines and radio rank above 50 per cent each.

”This result clearly shows that Indians are not averse to new forms of advertising, and this is a welcome sign for marketers to explore different advertising opportunities. Blogs and social networking sites are becoming a big tool in the western world to generate consumer opinion, especially regarding new product launches,” Panchal added.

With 71 per cent share in India, magazines made it to the fifth slot as a medium that can be trusted. India ranks ninth among the top ten countries that trust magazine advertising, according to the survey.

Search engine advertisements (41 per cent), advertisements before movies (41 per cent), online banner advertisements (38 per cent), and text advertisements on mobiles (24 per cent) are the least trusted forms of advertising in India.

– Bangalore Bureau

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