Marketers and communicators spend a lot of time trying to understand what makes their audiences tick—and myriad metrics and yardsticks exist to help them do so. But new research from brand expert network Experticity reveals a major disconnect between marketers and the consumers they seek to influence—and according to the firm’s new study, a major shift is needed in the prioritization of marketing dollars if companies want to stay ahead.
Data from the study shows that the vast majority of marketers are out of touch with which sources consumers turn to and trust when it comes to deciding what to buy. Key findings include:
- An overwhelming majority of marketers (83 percent) believe that traditional advertising is the most effective means of influencing buying decisions, yet advertising was almost the very least trusted source according to consumers, with only 47 percent saying they trust brand advertising.
- The majority of marketers (82 percent) believe social media is extremely or somewhat effective in influencing buyer decisions, yet only 49 percent of consumers reported that they trust brand social media campaigns.
- The majority of consumers ranked family or friends (72 percent), online reviews (72 percent) and third-party experts (61 percent) as their top trusted sources when making a buying decision.
“Consumers clearly value interactions with credible, trustworthy people much more than traditional advertisements,” said Tom Stockham, CEO of Experticity, in a news release. “Across the board, marketers are overvaluing traditional advertising and not placing nearly enough emphasis on actual people—who, it turns out, are what actually impact consumers most.”
According to the research, marketers are highly overconfident, especially in the advertising tactics they think will resonate with consumers. The majority of marketers (between 78-86 percent) report their company is somewhat to extremely skilled in every marketing tactic listed in the survey, yet their confidence and priorities do not line up with what consumers respond to—indicating that marketers may not understand what really impacts buying decisions.
“Consumer trust is the most powerful asset marketers have when working to influence purchases, yet trust in traditional marketing tactics is overwhelmingly low. It’s vital that brands engage with customers in ways that build trust instead of breaking it down,” said Stockham.
Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel