A recent study conducted by Nielsen IAG and highlighted in The Center for Media Research’s Research Brief ( http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=103068 ) suggests that financial institutions that are out of sight during difficult times risk being viewed as out of business. It only seems logical that the same holds true for other business segments – such as the automotive industry, for example – that face similar difficulties these days.
Some 55 percent of respondents who said they had seen more advertising for their financial institution reported having “complete confidence” in the health/soundness of that institution, while only 18 percent said they had “little or no confidence” in their company. Conversely, only 18 percent of respondents who saw less advertising from their financial institution over the past six months said they have “complete confidence” in their financial company, with 45 percent saying they have “little or no confidence.”
Less exposure = less confidence.
Nielsen says the study clearly demonstrates the direct link between advertising/promotion and confidence levels, hence the current economic climate makes it more important than ever for financial institutions to bolster confidence among their customers. Most business-to-business marketers would concur … and would apply that same rationale to other embattled industry segments as well.
Another finding of the study confirms our beliefs about the power of PR: PR outranks advertising in improving customer confidence. According to Nielsen, reading positive stories in the press about their financial institution would increase the confidence for 44 percent of respondents, while seeing regular advertising would increase the confidence of only 25 percent. ( For more info on the Nielsen study go to http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/nielsen-news/financial-company-ads-out-of-sight-out-of-business ).
Bottom line – While many companies are hunkering down in the belief that “the whale that does not surface does not get harpooned,” Nielsen advises: “… taking control of the message in advertising and press can make all the difference.” We agree. Those companies that continue to stay in front of their customers (and there ARE inexpensive ways to do that) are building customer confidence and are positioning themselves well for the turn-around ahead.
What’s your take on this?