“Consumers trust their friends and acquaintances far more than any other source.”
So says a Forrester “strategist”. Makes sense. But the corollary is wrong:
“Facebook, which brings a unique solution evolves advertisements to endorsements and encourages members to subscribe to a brand in what we are calling “Fan-Sumers” (an evolution of the consumer). As consumers share their affinities, brands can advertise using trusted social relationships.”
Apparently, in order to be a strategist at Forrester you need to be good at coining new terms (fan-sumers), that are
rip-offs from your betters (Toffler’s prosumers – Update: Jeremiah says it wasn’t a rip-off, and I apologize. Nevertheless, Toffler is basic reading if you’re any kind of strategist). However, Mr. Strategist doesn’t have to ask “why?” – why do consumers trust their friends and acquaintances more than other source?
Here’s why I sometimes trust a friend’s opinion more than an expert, and always more than an ad – because it’s honest. It’s because I believe that my friends have my own interests in mind when they recommend a product, and not any commercial interest. More than that – if a friend was ever to try to promote some product to me in order to receive a benefit from a third party without disclosing that, I’d never trust their opinion again, and would seriously question whether they’re actually my friend.
Facebook’s “amazing” strategy that Forrester is touting seems more like MLM 2.0. Make money working from home, touting products to your social network friends, only you don’t even make money…