Media: Who do we trust to deliver the real deal?

Marketing Week has done it again. Another excellent report, this time about consumers’ trust in various media.

Here’s the results of a YouGov survey about how much consumers trust editorial stories and features across a variety of media.

 % of people who find the following media ‘fairly / very trustworthy’

  • radio – 52%
  • TV – 47%
  • newspapers – 28%
  • magazines from brands – 25%
  • online magazines and mag apps – 23%
  • paid-for printed magazines – 22%
  • websites – 21%
  • email – 11%
  • direct marketing – 8%
  • celebrity tweets – 1%
  • YouTube and website videos – less than 1%

What does this mean for marketers?
It’s a good idea to look at stats like these in context. It’s all relative. For example while direct marketing is only trusted by 8% of respondents you can get a fantastic return on investment from DM. And because the term ‘direct marketing’ covers everything from email marketing to direct response press and radio ads, the low trust score is more or less meaningless in practical terms.
It’s not really surprising that YouTube has such a low score. So much of its content is funny, silly or just crazy that the medium’s credibility is bound to be affected. Nor is it a surprise that TV and radio score so high for credibility. When was the last time a massive radio scandal story broke? And telly, as Marketing Week says, is transparent by nature; “Digital trickery aside, you can largely see what’s going on in front of you.”
The best thing to do across every marketing campaigns, whatever the medium, is be honest, clear, transparent and straightforward. You need to earn consumer trust these days and that’s the only way to do it. Bullshit doesn’t sell.