Consumer reviews and personal recommendations are as important as trusted brand reviews for Internet consumers.
Recommendations by personal acquaintances and opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising globally, according to the latest twice-yearly Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries.
The Nielsen survey, the largest of its kind, shows that 90 percent of Internet consumers worldwide (90 percent) trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trust consumer opinions posted online.
However, in this new age of consumer control, advertisers will be encouraged by the fact that brand websites - the most trusted form of advertiser-led advertising - are trusted by as many people (70 percent) as consumer opinions posted online.
"The explosion in Consumer Generated Media over the last couple of years - we are now tracking over 100 million CGM sources - 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," says Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for the Nielsen Company.