Consumers don't even trust consumers anymore

Very interesting article from AdAge today on the results of Edelman's recently released Trust Barometer. According to Edelman consumer trust has dropped significantly in the 2009, with trust among friends and peers falling from 45% in 2008 to 25% in 2009. When asked about a "person like yourself", namely a blogger, or average people in testemonials, the percentages from from 45% to 39%. Interestingly though, consumer trust in CEO's had a year over year increase from 17 - 26%.

According to AdAge, "People have caught on to the fact marketers are increasingly behind that influential blog post or tweet. Despite regulations regarding disclosure of marketer-driven efforts, consumers may feel that whatever it is these people are receiving from companies positively influences their endorsements."

What does this mean to those of us who use digital media as a marketing communications tool? Has our field gotten the better of us where we are no longer able to rely on WOM from bloggers?

Perhaps one solution to this situation is to pull an idea from "The Great Schlep", the highly successful social media campaign starring Sara Silverman, and look instead to target those who influence our decision makers. \

WOM continues to be a strong tool, but it is necessary for marketers to remain nimble when crafting a campaign and look to not only the end consumer, but also to those who influence that consumer. Look to the children, grandchildren, co-workers, etc... as an additional tool for reaching your demographic.

Most importantly, be honest with your consumers. In this day and age if there is something that can come out and bite you it will.Toyota found that out the hard way, learn from their mistakes.

Establish trust on all levels and you'll be building the foundation for generations of brand loyal consumers.