Consumer skepticism is a major problem for marketers today. Because mobile ads and marketing are rather new, the thought is that some consumers don’t trust them, especially older consumers who grew up when terrestrial marketing was the only version available. Recently Northwestern University professor, Kent Grayson, conducted a study trying to determine the scope of this issue. The results were actually quite surprising.

Web TrustThe common notion amongst marketing experts is that people are losing trust in mobile ads. This seems logical given their relative newness in the marketing industry and the way in which they are presented. This is actually not the case. As it turns out, consumer skepticism is not as bad as commonly thought. This is true to the point that Grayson ran the trial multiple times because he was skeptical himself of the results.

During the study, he asked each subject the simple question of their opinion of recent advertising methods. Most people interviewed actually had a relatively favorable opinion of modern marketing methods compared to what the preconception was of the situation.

One thing driving this thought is the fact that the current generation seems to be more skeptical than anyone in history when it comes to trusting bands and must marketing in general. This is the train of thought that led Grayson to undertake the study in the first place. He found in the end, that consumer skepticism isn’t a broad thing that encompasses marketing as a whole. There are certain subgroups in marketing that people have come to trust, or at least they trust it more than other forms of marketing.

The reactions for each marketing strategy varied from person to person. It seems that the methods they favored the most were when companies offered to match prices or get their customers the lowest price. They also trusted established brands and companies more than new entries in the market, a notion of thought that is concurrent with terrestrial marketing.

One thing that people seemed to trust less than others was when companies hired actors or celebrities to help endorse their product. This method worked a lot more in the past. Now, people see through it more and want a more genuine response to a product. People don’t mind being advertised to, but they don’t like attempts at manipulation.

It isn’t fair to say that people completely trust online ads and marketing. The truth is that it’s a lot more nuanced than that. Certain forms of digital marketing are trusted more than others and companies with people especially untrusting of companies that seem to try and manipulate their potential customers with cheesy ads or paid actors. The key is to be as genuine as possible when marketing on mobile platforms, a marketing technique that should work terrestrially as well.