The explosion of social networks and consumer-generated media over the last few years continues to have a significant impact on advertising as consumers’ reliance on word-of-mouth in the decision-making process – either from people they know or online consumers they don’t – has increased significantly. – Nielsen

Earned media – including recommendations from friends and family – continues to be the most trustworthy source of advertising, with 92 percent (up 18 percent since 2007) of consumers around the world expressing trust in earned media above all other forms of advertising. Online consumer reviews are the second-most trusted source of brand information and messaging, with 70 percent (up 15 percent over four years) of global consumers expressing trust in the platform.

Additionally, fifty-eight percent of global online consumers trust messages found on company websites, and about half trust email messages that they have opted in to receive.

Now, consider how this influences the perception of your Medical Identity online (Internet persona)? How could you leverage this trend and your patient review platform to improve your brand?

To consider these possibilities while comparing the relative trust values of different advertising channels, both online and traditional, check out the analysis from Nielsen: