Monday, 8 June 2009

We trust family and friends more than strangers

It may come as a surprise to some, but a recent study by Mintel revealed that online recommendations from "virtual" friends is the second most accepted form of advice for making a brand decision. As you would expect, family and friends ranked as number one.

If you are a digital marketer this is very encouraging. However, as they say, the devil is in the detail. A closer look at this study provides some interesting details.

According to this study of consumers making brand decisions:

34% look to friends and family
25% ask their spouse (not quite family I guess)
5% use online friends

So even though online recommendations is the second most accepted source for brand decisions it still only represents 5%! That is very low. If online recommendations in the form of social media, blogs, forums and other consumer feedback is largely ignored 95% of the time where does this put TV, print, radio and other forms of advertising? Well, I have a thought on that.

The path that most of us take in making a decision to buy is usually not a snap one. It is usually a process of research and talking it over. The more important (more money) the more time we put into making our decisions. That influence which nudges us one direction or another at the final moment is most often from family and friends. However, before that final decision was made such influences as social media, TV, print and radio all played a role in helping us to do two things:

  • Learn that we needed something
  • Learn what it was that we needed
To summarize: Traditional advertising will be here for a very long time. Social media is very real, and as always, we trust the people we know more than those we don't.

Much success,



kev on tour said...

Interesting study, however i would've liked the researchers to be more specific in demographics.

In my own environment i see a great difference between generations in this matter. For instance, i think most of my friends would give more meaning to 10 user reviews on the internet, than to one friends testimonial. Whereas my parents wouldn't even try to find user reviews on the internet.

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

Interesting study, however i would've liked the researchers to be more specific in demographics.

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