Three-quarters of Malaysians trust branded websites and two-thirds find online opinions posted online as credible 33% of consumers trust ads on social networks; 29% find display ads on mobile devices as credibl.
Four in five consumers find consumer opinions posted online to be personally relevant when they look for information on products they want or need.
“Earned media”, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family have emerged as the most trusted form of advertising among nine in ten Malaysian online consumers according to a study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Editorial content such as newspaper articles dropped from the second most trusted form of advertising to fourth as compared to two years ago. “Owned media” such as branded websites advanced to second place (74%), followed by online consumer reviews (68%) (See Chart 1)
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that Malaysians’ confidence in traditional or “paid” media also dropped. Consumers who say they trust ads in newspapers, on television and radio, magazines, and billboards declined by 21 percent, 19 percent, 17 percent and 12 percent respectively since 2009. However, a newly measured form of advertising in this survey, TV program product placements is trusted by half of the respondents.
Newly measured digital forms of advertising gains popularity
The Nielsen survey also shows that new entrants, such as ads on social networks, have earned the trust of one-third of consumers, while 29 percent find display ads on mobile devices to be credible. Trust in other forms of digital advertising, however, have yet to gain traction amongst Malaysian consumers, with declines in trust levels of between one and six percentage points in the past two years.
“Consumers’ attitudes towards advertising and media and the ad spend landscape in Malaysia indicate that while marketers are still informing consumers of their marketing updates via conventional media, to earn the trusts of consumers, brands and marketers would need to reach out by actively initiating and participating in responding to consumers’ queries and needs via social networks, websites and solicited emails. This will effectively foster two way communications with the consumers,” said Danyal Abdul Malik, Managing Director of Nielsen’s media division in Malaysia. “Positive recommendations, word-of-mouth and customer reviews based on good purchasing experiences will follow eventually; this will not only help to boost corporate branding but sales and conversion in the long run."
Similar patterns seen in ad relevancy
Recommendations by personal acquaintances (95%), consumer opinions posted online (79%) and branded websites (74%) remain in the top three positions in terms of ad relevancy when consumers are looking for information on products they want and need. More than half of the respondents still find conventional mediums such as TV and newspapers to be personally relevant. Apart from ads served in search engines results which have been considered by almost half (48%) of consumers as relevant, two-fifth of consumers find ads on social networks and online video ads to be highly pertinent to their needs (see Chart 2).
“Apart from juggling the needs of conventional mediums’ audiences, brands should also take note that today’s consumers are increasingly turning to social media and rich media to seek advice or recommendations, get discounts or special offers or recommend products or brands. These are the platforms where marketers would also want to be, to take advantage of the growth in the emerging ads channels,” said Danyal Abdul Malik. “As relevant content to a great extent influences the possibility of consumer engagement in purchasing, channelling high relevancy advertising-driven messages that are actively being searched is both a challenge and an opportunity.”