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  • Sam Decker

New Study: Most Word of Mouth is Positive. Here’s What it Means.

Keller Fay Group released a study today…here are the stats. The most interesting finding, in my opinion, is at the bottom.

  1. The average American discusses specific brands in ordinary discussion 56 times per week.

  2. 72% of opinions about brands are shared by family members and personal friends, 13% are shared by co-workers and 7% are shared by a professional or expert on the topic.

  3. 2 in 5 (41%) conversations about brands involve a reference to something seen or heard in the media or in marketing material, with 15% of such discussions referencing an advertisement, 8% referencing some form of editorial or entertainment content, 5% referencing information at the point of purchase and 4% referencing a coupon or other promotion.

  4. The Internet (12%), television (7%) and newspapers (5%) are the top three media channels most frequently referenced in brand-related buzz.

  5. 92% of word of mouth conversations take place offline, with 71% of word of mouth taking place in person and 21% taking place by phone.

  6. Email, instant message and online chat rooms/blogs comprise 6% of word of mouth.

  7. 62% of marketing-relevant discussion is described as “mostly positive,” while only 9% is described as “mostly negative.”

This last finding flys in the face of conventional wisdom (or old studies), that most word of mouth is negative. What this means for marketers is we will see greater separation from great products vs. mediocre. This will reinforce, like a snowball, that word of mouth is how more and more people will find the products they should buy. The best products will sell more, the worst will sell less. Smart companies will grok this, change something, and be part of the 62% (which I bet will grow).


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