Norman Ng

Battle Between Advertising vs. Peer Recommendations

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2011 at 11:05

Only 14% of consumers trust advertisements. Those figures, according to the folks at SocialNomics give further indication that ridiculous tonnes of MarComm / publicity budgets are wasted on advertising. (This I meant conventional print / broadcast media). What more, it was also reported that a staggering 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations instead.If that didn’t get your eyes popping. I don’t know what will.

So why do enterprises still look towards mainstream advertising as the panacea to their branding efforts? A large part, I believe dwells that the ROI’s are “measurable”. Corporate leaders want results. What more that to give the all convenient Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) in PR speak? which are known to be grossly inaccurate as an evaluation metric.

In fact during the 2nd European Summit of Measurement in Barcelona, it was collectively declared that AVEs are NOT the values of Public Relations. Doom on those PR and advertising folks who have professed its relevance.

So how should MarComm / Corp Comm folks make of this? Well, peer recommendations are suggested as better leverages to persuade, engage and convert consumers / stakeholders. So it’s essential that at the very least, re-strategise their Communication Campaigns over the next few years.

Enterprises need to strategise on how to solicit and build strong internal / external brand ambassadors. From employees to consumers, look at them as new possibilities to help espouse your brand / reputation positively. Integrate CRM closely with marketing and communications. Get feedbacks, endorsements and reward / acknowledge them. It will go a very long way indeed.

As for employees, build a constructive framework with guidelines on social media, give them to space and opportunity to share insights and opinions about the enterprise. Empower them as social media ambassadors, but don’t be afraid to let the occasional unfavourable comment slip out. Because it show’s you’re genuine, and open. Stakeholders may trust you even more because you don’t seem to cover up any misgivings. Better still, acknowledge some shortcomings, let people know you’re listening, and act on them.

In all, enterprises need to rethink their traditional approaches on publicity and MarComm activities. Advertising will demise – fast. It will have its space, albeit in an increasingly less cost effective way. And match re-strategisation efforts with a concerted tactical asset allocation to new engagement channels / platforms.

  1. […] Only 14% of Consumers Trust Advertisements ( […]

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