Nine in 10 Filipinos trust word-of-mouth recommendations

Earned advertising in the form of word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know and trust continue to be the most trusted source of advertising by Filipino consumers in Philippines.

A new report by Nielsen revealed that nine in 10 Filipino consumers placed trust in word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know, the highest trust level indicated among Southeast Asian consumers for this ad format.

Trust, however, is not exclusive to those in their inner circle. In the report, 80% of Filipino consumers trust editorial content such as newspaper articles, while 75% find consumer opinions online credible.

“While word-of-mouth endorsements continue to earn the biggest trust of consumers, extending the conversation in the digital format can result to quicker and viral results,” Stuart Jamieson, Managing Director of Nielsen Philippines.

“Marketers can widen the circle of trust of consumers by engaging passionate brand advocates to amplify their message and giving them a compelling reason to talk. Trust is fragile. Practice transparency and accountability because if trust is broken, your advocates also have the power to damage credibility and reputation.”

Despite continued media fragmentation, the proliferation of online formats has not eroded trust in traditional paid channels. Ads on television, newspapers, and magazines continue to be among the most trusted forms of paid advertising in the Philippines, surpassing global trust level averages.

Seventy-five percent of consumers in the Philippines say they trust ads on TV (versus 63% global average), closely followed by ads in newspapers at 74% (compared to 60% globally) and ads in magazines at 70% (versus 58% global average).

“While digital ads offer considerable advantages —such as precision-focused campaigns, in-flight adjustments and more creative options—TV still delivers unequalled ability to reach the masses, said Jamieson.  “Cross-platform ad exposure drives greater memorability and brand lift than single platform exposure, even when adjusted for frequency.”

Close to six in 10 (59%) Filipino respondents say they completely or somewhat trust ads on social networks while ads served in search engine results have stayed consistent since 2013 at 56%. Online video ads recorded a positive shift in trust levels compared to 2013, up five points to 56% while trust for online banner ads also improved by three points to 49%.

The Nielsen report also revealed that although trust and action are clearly linked, credibility alone does not drive purchase.

Filipino respondents claim they are more likely to take action on advertising formats, exceeding trust in all formats except editorial content (80% trust and action). Respondents that trust the recommendations of people they know claim they take action on these opinions majority of the time (91% trust; 93% take action) while self-reported action for editorial content.

Aside from being highly credible among consumers, ads on TV also received the highest self-reported action among traditional offline formats at 85%, exceeding trust by 10 points. “TV continues to be a major influencer in the purchase decision of consumers,” said Jamieson.

Formats which earned lower trust levels can be extremely effective in driving consumers to the point of purchase. This is particularly true for online and mobile formats. Self-reported action exceeds trust by more than double digits for text ads on mobile phones (33% trust; 52% take action) and ads on mobile devices (47% trust; 58% take action).

“The formats where action exceeds trust by the greatest margin share a common attribute: easy access to products or services. Online and mobile formats make it easier for consumers take quick action on the advertisement,” observed Jamieson. ”With just a click, consumers are directed to a place where they can receive more information or purchase the item.”

Advertising that used real-life situations was the most likely to resonate among Filipino consumers, followed by ads that are family-oriented, health-themed, value-oriented, and humorous.
“The advertising medium is only part of the formula for reaching consumers. It’s important for consumers to identify and connect with both the brand and message,” advised Jamieson. “Advertisements that feature relatable situations and comedic relief, and which focus on family, values and health greatly appeal to consumers and elicit the most positive response.”

Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries to gauge consumer sentiment in 19 forms of paid, earned and owned advertising mediums. The results identify the ad formats resonating most strongly with consumers and those that have room to grow.

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