The blogosphere and marketing pubs are abuzz about a Forrester Research report this week, penned by Josh Bernoff and Co., showing that Company Blogs rank last on the ol’ consumer trust-o-meter.
It’s actually pretty funny to read the blog posts recommending killing off this untrustworthy fiend since just right above it, just saved from the bottom of the list, is the personal blog.
Whoa! And we all thought we were soooo much better than the corporate blogs. I mean we try to advise corporate bloggers. But it seems that no one, in general, trusts blogs. Except, of course, other bloggers. I’ll bet that will throw a monkey-wrench into the gears of some 2.0 PR firms.
Unfortunately, there’s not much buzz from this report about what people actually do trust. E-Mails from people you know, and reviews from people you don’t know top the trust list. That’s pretty interesting. I get the e-Mail piece but it’s pretty amazing that people trusts review from people they will never see, meet or hear from. But reviews are very personal and that is probably why they garner such trust.
Message board posts, on the other hand, rank way down the list. Too many rants, maybe? And e-Mail from companies slightly top direct mail. I’m surprised there isn’t a greater difference, since you’ve opted into one, but not the other. You’d think that the Direct Marketers would shift some of their emphasis to e-mail, based on this.
Looking at this list, its fun to realize just how little things have changed since Edward Bernays started this whole modern marketing business. Word-of-Mouth is still king, by a long shot.
Looking at this from a digital strategy perspective, the good news is that three of the top four items are online (I’m assuming most of the reviews are online). We should be doing everything we can to create great word of mouth promotion. Again, look at the post about Obama’s campaign. He created outreach and tools to do just that.
Bernoff and crew do give some good tips on how to improve company blogs. Personal bloggers should take note of them as well.