Word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the most effective marketing channels. Consumers don’t put a lot of trust in corporate blogs or social network profiles, but will readily listen to people–even if they are employed by the company selling the product–provided that they are open about their mission and relationship to the company.
To better understand this trend, DEI Worldwide commissioned OTX (Online Testing eXchange) –an independent, global consumer research and consulting firm – to research the influence of social media on consumers’ purchase decisions. (Click here for a summary) The study was designed to gain deeper insight into what products or services consumers research online, what online sources they use to gather information, and what they do with the information that they receive.
In the study, the term “social media websites” refers to the following online platforms:
- Chat Rooms
- Instant Messengers
- Message Boards / Forums
- Video Sharing Websites
- Social Networking Websites
- Excludes: Review Sites, Twitters, and Wikis
The study shows that consumers rely on various types of social media websites as much as company websites for product and brand information. As a result, companies that utilize social media and engage directly with consumers have a greater opportunity to not only reach more customers, but also increase their likelihood of making a purchase.
Percentage of people who report the types of online sources they have visited to get information on a company, brand or product
- Social Media Websites 70%
- Company Websites 68%
- Online News 57%
- Review Sites 49%
- Wikis 44%
Attitudes toward recommendations and information provided by consumers online
- Valuable 71%
- Relevant 68%
- Influence purchase decisions 67%
- Influence perception 62%
- Credible 60%
- Honest 52%
Percentage of people who report they passed along the information they found online
- Social Media Websites 45%
- Company or News Sites 36%
- Others 23%
Data from DEI Worldwide/OTX “The Impact of Social Media on Purchasing behaviour”, 2008. For further details on socila media research, please contact their sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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