Marketers are Underestimating the Power of WOM
Nearly all US consumers (93%) say friends and family are their most trusted source of information when it comes to brands, products and services. Despite being the most impactful channel for new brand information, the latest report from RR Donnelley found that marketers may be selling word-of-mouth short.
Word-of-mouth (WOM) has long been a favourite way for people to learn about new products, as nearly half (46%) say the opinions of their friends and family are very important to their purchase decisions. Most WOM takes place offline, which could make it difficult for marketers to attribute it to sales. Earlier data from Engagement Labs shows that while social media, phone calls and text messages play a small role in WOM, two-thirds of WOM takes place face-to-face, accumulating about 14 billion offline impressions per week in 2020.
Per RR Donnelley’s surveys of 250 mid- to senior-level marketers and 1,000 US consumers, only 4% of marketers believe WOM is consumers’ preferred method for learning about a new brand, product or service. Instead, they believe consumers prefer to get information via digital or online ads (36% share) or social media (32%).
However, for nearly a third of consumers (28%), word of mouth is the preferred method for learning about a new brand, product or service — outpacing social media (23%), and online/digital ads (11%). At the same time, a mere 4% of marketers identified word of mouth as a consumer preference for learning about new brands, products or services.
Indeed, more than half (55%) of consumers say they have discovered a new brand, product or service via word-of-mouth, while slightly fewer (53%) say they have discovered something new via social media, and 37% say the same about digital and online ads.
Marketers also underestimate WOM when it comes to purchases. While fewer than 1 in 10 (7%) of marketers say WOM is a channel that results in a purchase, WOM has the highest research-to-purchase rate of the channels measured — outpacing social and online ads. Indeed, 4 in 10 say they have purchased a product they learned about via WOM.
While 82% of marketers believe influencers drive consumer purchases, the reality is that just over a quarter (26%) of consumers say that influencers make them more likely to purchase new products or services.
The report concludes that’s it’s time it’s time to redefine and re-engage word of mouth in the real world.
On the Move
Last week’s national Locomizer mobility data, based on analysis of mobile phone location movements via anonymised app reporting, shows an increase on week previous, to +58% of pre-pandemic levels. This metric was still below baseline in mid-May.
Google Mobility data shows how visitors to (or time spent in) categorised places change compared to baseline days. The baseline day is the median value from the 5 week period Jan 3 – Feb 6, 2020.
Retail and recreation covers mobility trends for places such as restaurants, cafés, shopping centres, museums, libraries and cinemas. From a low of -61% at the start of the year it is close to baseline at -5%.
Visits to supermarkets and pharmacies has flipped from -17% to +17% while conversely time spent in places of residence has declined from +21% in January to just +3% to date this month, indicating that Irish people are increasingly spending more time out of home.