What are trustworthy sources of the content?

I am always interested to read about trust in digital space, so when this morning I got a link from Marketing Sherpa email newsletter to the chart of the day with a title “What content sources do customers trust?” I immediately jumped to the page and have found the chart you may see below.

Sources of content - level of trust chart

From this chart it seems very clear that print media has much higher level of trust. But is it real?

How you shouldn’t do marketing researches (at least if your goal is finding what’s really going on)

There are couple points that make my BS detector ringing:

  1. Trick #1 – framing. The way “The Content Strategist” defined bloggers – “Blog post by mommy blogger”. How does it sound for you? What about the choices given – where is “Sponsored article in printed newspaper” for example? I wonder in what category would guys from Marketing Sherpa and The Content Strategist put their own websites: mommy bloggers? For me it sounds like clear example of framing, when you ask a question a certain way to affect the answer. In this case the question is formulated in the manner that assumes that bloggers have limited knowledge on subject matter and amateurs and the choice of answers is heavily skewed in favour of printed media;
  2. Trick #2 – substitution. If you read the post linked with this chart, you’ll find out that actual question that people were asked was not about the trust, but about the quality – “What do you think is generally higher quality?”. In my humble opinion the trust and the quality are pretty different things. However somewhere along the way authors  replaced quality by trust and made a conclusion that people trust more printed media.

So in general all this looks for me like a good example of marketing research that was intentionally done to get certain results rather than to discover the truth. A kind of another desperate attempt of printed media to convince advertisers that there is still solid value there. It was a little bit disappointing to see that kind of stuff from Marketing Sherpa.

Update: I posted a comment about my disappointment with that kind of research on the Marketing Sherpa website, naturally it hasn’t appeared.

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