92% of Consumers Prefer Word-of-Mouth Over Any Form of Advertising

“Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust ‘earned media,’ such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007…”

This is all part of a huge-and-dramatic shift that’s also happening in music.  Because it’s not that Pandora and recommendation algorithms like Moodagent aren’t turning people onto new music – they are.  It’s just that personal recommendations are far more likely to result in real, lasting discovery and fan relationships.  And, longer-lasting careers.

Digging deeper into Nielsen’s ‘Global Trust in Advertising Survey,’ which involved 28,000 internet-based respondents across 56 countries, something else emerged.  It turns out that a full 70 percent of respondents trust the recommendations of online consumer reviews like Yelp, a gain of 15 percent over just 4 years.  It’s just like a personal recommendation, one step removed, and its potency is stronger than ever.

In other words, if your restaurant is getting trashed on Yelp by real people, you’re really in trouble.  But in the case of artists, maybe the opposite is true: if people aren’t trashing, praising, or otherwise discussing your music, you’re also in trouble.  And getting scale in a world that now features 28 million iTunes songs and billions of distractions is becoming increasingly-difficult – if not near-impossible as a do-it-yourself artist.

Which might explain why advertisers are still spending on Super Bowl spots, and artists are still signing major label deals.  Because even if ‘the music is great,’ as the cliché goes, you can’t make a personal recommendation on something you’ve never heard.

Sounds like the real trick is creating stuff that people will recommend, but establishing the scale to make them recommend it in the first place.  Which is why television – that big, hulking, impersonal format – remains the primary channel for advertising, according to Nielsen.  And, it was a major reason why advertising spends have been increasing since 2010.  You now need both.

“Although television advertising will remain a primary way marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach compared to other media, consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible.”

(Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen.)

10 Responses

  1. Big Swifty

    So did Madonna’s Superbowl halftime performance help or hurt sales of her product?

  2. CLebLabs*TM

    We at Janstonapps by Janston PtyLtd., believe in word of mouth Advertising. The CLebLabs*TM Brand, will Promote itself when we release the final tested APP., as any one will beable to use it, as well as earn Money, from their creations. So to cover the cost of the APP., you only have to convince 6 of your friend’s, or School Buddies, to buy your creation & you are in Profit. As well as Posting to all the Social Networks. [ ]

  3. R.P.

    97% of all statistics are made up. This one included. No proof.

  4. @PDMusicComposer

    “If people aren’t trashing, praising, or otherwise discussing your music, you’re in trouble”

  5. @travisbernard

    No surprise, but cool to see it compared to other media forms.