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Network Research is a full-service insights agency specialising in customer experience research across the entire customer journey. For over 30 years we’ve been helping our clients build deeper, more profitable relationships with their customers. We use research to create actionable insight at each stage of the journey – from product development and customer acquisition and communications through to satisfaction, loyalty and retention.

We work with our clients to embed insights into their business and drive change and gain commercial advantage as a result. We use our inhouse visualisation and technology teams to produce creative and compelling ways to communicate and disseminate insight stories for maximum impact.

As one of the UK’s largest independent agencies, we’re able to offer the best of both large and small agencies alike: full service research but with the creativity, flexibility and responsiveness of a smaller company.

Accountancy, Automotive, Catering/Hospitality, Charities/Voluntary, Computers – hardware, Computers – software, Drinks (Alcoholic), Drinks (Non-alcoholic), Education/Training, Electrical Goods, Energy, Entertainment – in home, Entertainment – out of home, Events/Conferences, Finance/Investment – Business, Finance/Investment – Personal, FMCG – General, Government/Local Authority, Healthcare, Home Entertainment, Home/Garden/DIY, Information Technology, Insurance, Internet/New Media, Legal, Media (Broadcast), Media (Mobile), Media (Print), Online, Property/Construction/Housing, Public Services/Utilities, Retail, Social Media, Telecommunications, Transportation, Travel/Tourism, Wellness/Fitness
Advanced Statistical Techniques, Benchmark Studies, CAPI, CATI, Consultancy, Continuous, Custom, Depth Interviews, Face-to-Face, In-Home/Doorstep Interviews, Internet Research/CAWI, Kiosk Interviews, Mobile Web Surveys, Online Communities, Online Results and Data Portals, Online Surveys, Postal Research, Qualitative, Quantitative, SMS, Street/Mall Interviews, Syndicated Surveys, Telephone Interviewing, Tracking, Web Usability Research
Advertising, Brand/Branding, Business-to-Business, Communications/PR, Concept Testing, Consumer, Customer Communities, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Data Analytics, Employee Research, International, Multi-Mode Fieldwork, New Product Development, Pricing, Product Testing, Reputation Management, Social Media, Usage & Attitude
Affluent, College/University Students, Digital Consumers, High Net Worth, Mature/Midlife, Senior Citizens, Women
Australasia, Canada, Central America, Central Asia, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Northern/Western Europe, Republic of Ireland, South America, UK, USA, Worldwide
Senior Contacts

Jon Eastwood (Chief Technical Officer)
Chris Hall (Commercial Director)
Rachel Mason (Operations Director)
Virginia Monk (Managing Director)
Eamonn Santry (Consultant)
Nigel Spackman (Non-Executive Director)

Breakdown of Personnel

Admin/Support staff: 14
Executive/Research staff: 28
Non-research: 4
Data processing: 10
Telephone interviewers: 275
Telephone managers/supervisors: 25
Total Number of Employees: 51 to 100

Address

25 West Tenter Street
London
E1 8DT
Tel: +44 (0)20 7680 5100
Fax: +44 (0)20 7680 5101
Email: info@networkresearch.co.uk
Establishment date: 1987

Who can you trust? Fake news in a post-truth era

In a previous blog (see  http://www.networkresearch.co.uk/our-view/a-post-truth-world/)we discussed the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2016 word of the year, post-truth (defined as relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief).

We considered recent examples in politics and how this post-truth world is shaping our opinions. But this wasn’t enough for us. We needed to know more; specifically, what does this rise in unreliability mean for public trust in the media? We wanted to understand attitudes and trust toward the UK press and media landscape in this post-truth era.

Our study, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, revealed that, whether right or wrong, the UK public lays the blame at the feet of journalists and media channels. Public trust in the reliability of media information has declined significantly in the past year, and therefore a whopping 63% of people think the media industry needs more regulation.

Can we trust the media?
Since just the start of 2016, one third of respondents have started to lose trust in the reliability of information presented by media outlets. The loss of trust is highest amongst Millennials at a 38% reduction. Exposure to fake news is a key driver in the loss of trust. Almost half of those that think they have been exposed to fake news claim a reduction in trust, compared to only a fifth of those who did not think they had previously been exposed to fake news.

Is the government brainwashing us?
We don’t have the answer to this, and we probably never will. But two in five feel the Government has considerable influence on the media agenda and a third feel businesses also have strong sway.  

Another interesting find regarding loss of trust is that when it comes to political affiliations, a quarter of people that say they voted Conservative in the 2015 General Election claimed a reduction in trust in the media since 2016, compared to 37% of Labour Party supporters and 43% of UKIP supporters.

Is all news fake news?
It may be a glass-half-empty scenario here. Almost half of the public are suspicious they may have seen or read fake news recently. Having suspected fake news, three in four somewhat unsurprisingly trust the publication less as a result. Either way, a massive four in five respondents agree that journalists need to check their facts more often and 66% feel there is a general disregard to the facts these days.

Can reporters just get away with it?
Over 83% of respondents believe there should be greater penalties for reporting fabricated news stories and 63% believe the media industry needs more regulation. In terms of attitudes toward the media, the public sees the need for significant change in a post-truth era.

Is social media the culprit?
The study found that only 46% of the public regularly use newspapers (digital and print) as a source of news and current affairs, with a similar proportion regularly sourcing news through social media. TV remains the mainstay for news with over three quarters of respondents using this source.  Use of newspapers for news and current affairs seems to be declining with one in five saying their use of newspapers has reduced over the last 12 months, while a quarter said their use of social media as source for news has increased.  

What’s shocking is that only 57% feel that traditional news sources are more trustworthy than social media sources. This, along with the usage trends above, places large responsibility on social media. Good news is that around 70% of people believe social media platforms should be responsible for verifying the authenticity of a news story if it is being shared widely. And in even better news, social media channels are starting to take action. Facebook recently announced it has started to tackle fake news stories and that users' newsfeeds will change after a new update.

What does this mean for brands using media as an advertising channel?
Well, do you want the good news or the bad news first? Around half of people surveyed understood what advertorials are, but only 17% of respondents treat an advertorial with the same amount of trust as editorial content. But for brands looking to use advertorials and native advertising, it’s important to note that around a fifth of respondents are more likely to trust a brand they are unfamiliar with if the advertorial is placed in a media outlet they trust. This suggests that native advertising can still be a good medium for brands but only if they target the correct outlets carefully.

Overall the public has acknowledged the need for significant change in a post-truth era, and with only 30% of people trusting the majority of journalists, the media needs to make this change.

For more on this study, see coverage in Marketing Week http://bit.ly/2o8WTHb and The Drum http://bit.ly/2pcrft4

Network Research really listens to our objectives and they work with us to arrive at solutions rather than trying to force us into something that is easier for them to administer. The work they have conducted with us has helped us identify priorities and drive our business forward.

We like to work with Network as partners, so we share our internal insights to add to the external research. They are not afraid to challenge us and make us re-think. I have always found them excellent at standing up for the customer view and not caving to senior directors.

Rosie Hayes

Customer & Market Insight Consultant
Market Management
Allianz Retail 

 

I have been working with Network Research in many guises (and brands) for almost 8 years, where more recently they have helped us build TSB research function as part of building the brand new TSB bank for the high street. They expertly manage our frontline customer experience programs and conduct ad hoc customer research to support our product and experience propositions. Whatever we have thrown at them, they have flexed and adapted to make it work...and continue to do so, as we grow into our shoes, and begin to differentiate ourselves. They have high quality standards, and understand our business in a way that I have not witnessed in any other agency, making them a key strategic partner for TSB. 

 

Janet Hurford

Senior Manager - Customer Research & Market Insights

TSB 

 

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