Why recommend ‘word of mouth’ in an age when people talk less and less to one another?

The paradox that many marketers are ignoring.

In the headlong rush to the latest digital engagement platform, marketers and designers are forgetting the tiny detail that can transform their communications.

When was the last time you rushed off and bought a new gadget having read about it on Twitter?

Or maybe you did and became one of those gullible folk who were sold a lemon?

Is it just too risky to impulse-buy ‘off the page’ in the digital world?

What it takes, paradoxically, is someone to suggest you buy something.

This tiny detail, so often overlooked, is the ‘reason why’ behind most purchase decisions.

The ‘word of mouth’ uttered by a real person, not a faceless business.

“89% of online shoppers are regularly influenced by online reviews when shaping their purchasing decisions” 1

Research giant Nielson offered this staggering statistic in a recent survey across 60 countries.

The survey asked 30,000 people what led them to buy something new:

  • 81% said recommendations from friends
  • 58% said recommendations from people they didn’t know (online reviews)
  • 56% said TV ads—no longer fashionable, except among ordinary people
  • Only 34% said social media

If the 89% figure is to be believed, then online reviews, testimonials and endorsements are far more important than people realise.

If further evidence is needed, then a quick glance at how TripAdvisor has become so successful in a very short space of time is proof indeed.

TripAdvisor—where a value judgement is based on trust.

When reading user reviews, buyers need to sense relevance and trust. They want to see reviews from ‘people like me.

TripAdvisor categorises reviews by families, business travellers, or couples. Because its user experience and constant refinement recognises that each group’s experiences—and most importantly expectations—of a hotel or restaurant differs widely.

The ranking of data also proves crucial. Quantitative takes precedence over qualitative.

For example, a hotel with 50 votes of 4/5 will rank higher than a hotel with only one vote of 5/5. This evidence, based on ‘critical mass’, always proves more trustworthy with customers.

When it comes to marketing through ‘word of mouth’ make sure you don’t leave yourself or your brand speechless.

If you need to improve or refresh your marketing, call us now for an informal chat.

Rowan (Creative Marketing) Ltd.
Think. Design. Deliver.
01829 771772


  • 1 Digital Doughnut, 2017