Why don't people trust advertising?
According to a recent Forrester research report, 70% of US consumers trust recommendations from a friend, whereas only 10% trust advertising. In the EU it's even more stark with 61% of European consumers trusting recommendations from a friend but only 8% trusting advertising.1 It's great to see us Europeans being as sceptical as ever.
The fundamental difference between recommendations and marketing makes sense. We are constantly bombarded by marketing messages and advertising and since it comes straight from the source of the beneficiary of our purchase decision we know that they're incentivised to persuade us. We also know that even though there are organisations are there to protect us from downright lies (such as the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK), statistics can be spun and many of the claims can't be directly proved or disproved.
On the other hand, a recommendation from a friend nearly always comes because your friend thinks it will be beneficial to you. The risk of you having a negative experience on the back of a recommendation and that experience negatively impacting the friendship means that most people will only recommend companies that they believe in. And almost all recommendations are for companies that people have tried and therefore the recommender can talk to their own experience of the company rather than some nebulous claims.
For businesses, finding out how to get your current customers recommending and referring you has the potential to significantly boost a business. And that's where Mention Me comes in...
Chart: Data from the Forrester Report, March 2013
1. Forrester Research, March 2013, Study of 58,000 consumers across EU and US. See Mashable article.