Word-of-Mouth the Most Powerful Selling Tool; Traditional Media Advertising Still More Credible than Online Ads

Nielsen just released the results of their Nielsen Online Global Consumer Study (found via Eric Baillargeon’s blog). In it, “Nielsen (…) surveyed consumers on their attitudes toward thirteen types of advertising – from conventional newspaper and television ads to branded web sites and consumer-generated content.” Excerpts:

The Nielsen survey (…) found that while new platforms like the Internet are beginning to catch up with older media in terms of ad revenues, traditional advertising channels continue to retain the public’s trust. Ads in newspapers rank second worldwide among all media categories, at 63 percent overall, while television, magazines and radio each ranked above 50 percent. (…)

Nielsen Online Global Consumer Survey - all media

Although consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising among 78 percent of the study’s respondents, Nielsen research found significant national and regional differences regarding this and other mediums. Word of mouth, for example, generates considerable levels of trust across much of Asia Pacific. Seven of the top ten markets that rely most on “recommendations from consumers” are in this region, including Hong Kong (93%), Taiwan (91%) and Indonesia (89%). At the other end of the global spectrum, Europeans, generally, are least likely to trust what they hear from other consumers, particularly in Denmark (62%) and Italy (64%).

The reliability of consumer opinions posted online – which rated third, at 61 percent overall – also varies throughout the world, scoring highest in North America and Asia, at 66 and 62 percent respectively. Among individual markets, web-based opinions such as Blogs are most trusted in South Korea (81%) and Taiwan (76%), while scoring lowest, at 35 percent, in Finland.

What it means: a few weeks ago, I blogged about the fact that word of mouth might actually be the biggest opportunity directory publishers have seen in the last few years given that the Web was becoming a big word of mouth machine. These numbers clearly show that i) traditional word of mouth is still the most trusted source of advertising and ii) online word of mouth is not far behind. It’s also interesting to note the differences in the various geographical areas.

Eniro Buys 48.1 Percent of Bubblare.se, a Video Site

Found on TheLocal.se:

Eniro has acquired 48.1% of the shares in Netclips AB, which owns Sweden’s answer to YouTube, bubblare.se. Eniro, the leading search company on the Nordic market, will also receive an option to acquire the remaining 51.9% of the shares. At bubblare.se, users can view others’ home videos and upload their own. Traffic figures released in September showed that Bubblare.se had up to 30 times more viewers for Scandinavian film clips than YouTube.

“We see exciting opportunities in video communities, video searches and video advertising. With this acquisition, we can increase the dynamic content of our services, primarily on our portals, but also in search services, such as eniro.se. Bubblare.se is a popular site in Sweden and will generate additional traffic to Eniro’s other services,” said Cecilia Geijer, Vice President of Eniro, in a statement.

Bubblare.se was started on September 1, 2006 and is also established in Norway, Finland and Denmark. The site operates along the same lines as YouTube. The only difference is the language.

What it means: Eniro, the directory publisher from the Nordic Countries, strikes again and acquires a user-generated video site. Given that they also operate a popular search engine & portal, this makes complete sense. But I think they’ve clearly positioned themselves in the very hot online video advertising market. As Michael Taylor from the Kelsey Group blog says: “While many think of YouTube and other mainstream video sites such as Yahoo! as the most likely vehicles for online video, why couldn’t online Yellow Pages emerge as a leader?”. I think Eniro made a very forward-thinking acquisition. Bravo!