Whose Word-of-Mouth Matters? - eMarketer
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Whose Word-of-Mouth Matters?

Real friends more believable than online friends.

June 22, 2009 | Social Media

Word-of-mouth recommendations can move consumers to make a purchase.

Word-of-blog, on the other hand, is far less persuasive.

According to Mintel, 34% of US Internet users who bought a product or service based on a recommendation got that tip from a friend or relative, while one-quarter bought based on advice from a spouse or domestic partner.

Source of Product Recommendations Among US Internet Users*, 2009 (% of respondents)

Lower on the list were bloggers and chat rooms.

While bloggers may bring buzz to a product, converting the buzz to sales is another matter—unless, of course, the blogger is a friend.

“It’s interesting to find that as much time as we spend online, we still prefer a personal recommendation from someone we know and trust,” said Chris Haack of Mintel.

The most common reason that Internet users recommended a product or service was price, followed by quality and convenience.

Reasons that US Internet Users Recommend a Product or Service, 2009 (% of respondents)

“The sheer number of people that purchase based on recommendations proves marketers need to pay attention to word-of-mouth,” said Mr. Haack.

Build a good product and consumers will spread the word—probably to people they actually know.

For more information, see Trust Word-of-Mouth.

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