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Report: 70% of Consumers Trust Brand Recommendations From Friends

March 21, 2013
Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin is the Owner and CEO of DISRUPT Media. DISRUPT Media is a full-service creative agency built for the now. We partner with death care companies to drive deep-rooted brand loyalty and measurable leads through social media. More Fans. More Conversations. More Leads. Ryan is also the founder of is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.

Report: 70% of Consumers Trust Brand Recommendations From Friends

Seventy percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, but only 10% trust advertising, according to a new report from Forrester Research. This is extremely important information for funeral homes to digest as funeral directors say 80% of new business is from client family referrals.

The study, based on responses from 58,000 respondents, also found that 46% of consumers trust consumer reviews and 9% trust text messages from brands. The findings come after at least one Facebook partner has affirmed that the social network’s Sponsored Stories — which are based on friend recommendations on behalf of a brand — are more effective than standard banner ads.

Forrester’s report advocates branded content, which analyst Tracy Stokes writes “has the ability to create brand differentiating by bridging the gap between TV’s emotive power and digital media’s efficient reach.” Stokes views branded content as a “pull” model vs. advertising’s traditional “push” approach. Forrester defines branded content as:

Content that is developed or curated by a brand to provide added consumer value such as entertainment or education. It is designed to build brand consideration or affinity, not sell a product or service. It is not a paid ad, sponsorship or product placement.

Marketers appear to have gotten the message. The report states that 79% of brands say their organizations are shifting into branded content. The problem, however, is that branded content is far from tried-and-true as a strategy. Writes Stokes: “For every Oreo or Old Spice there are hundreds of unseen messages and videos.”

Image courtesy of iStockphotoMosquitoSlayer

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