Well, it is hardly news anymore that people trust “someone like me” the most. Nielsen’s recent study just confirms the picture. However, it is interesting to know that the numbers are actually going up. In this study, 90 % stated that they “completely” or “somewhat” trust recommendations from people they know. Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for the Nielsen Company, says:
“The explosion in Consumer Generated Media over the last couple of years means consumers’ reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don’t, has increased significantly.”
Second to “recommendations from people known” comes “consumer opinions posted online”, with the same percentage, 70 %, as “brand websites”. Interesting to know though, is that there are quite large regional differences. For swedish readers it might be extra interesting to know that we are the ones who trust brand websites (40 % compared to 70 % on average) and brand sponsorships (33 % compared to 64 % on average) the least.
As consumer generated media continue to grow, I expect trust in consumer opinions posted online will grow too, especially the aggregated kind in the shape of different average ratings. Quantitative data gives a fuller picture, and in combination with qualitative data in the form of written reviews it might move the percentages upwards even further.