NEWS17 June 2014

WOM has greatest influence on purchase decisions

News North America

US — Consumers are more influenced by word of mouth than media in their buying decisions, according to new research.


Ogilvy, TNS and Google surveyed 2,458 recent purchasers of vehicles, beauty products and smartphones to explore how consumers could be engaged on their “path to purchase”.

The survey found that word of mouth topped the list of ‘points of influence’, with 74% of respondents citing it as an influencer on purchase decisions. It was followed by retailers and store visits ( 69%); YouTube ( 64%); Twitter ( 61%) and company/ brand websites ( 59%). Other social media and print media came further down the list.

With regard to ‘connections attributes’ that influence brand selection, the survey revealed that a brand giving useful information in its advertising is a key driver ( 73%); followed by a brand engaging on passions and interests ( 70%); and a brand demonstrating its principles at all times when a consumer is exploring different options ( 64%).

The study concluded that brand purpose is critical to “break through the clutter and drive purchase”, and that “brands that provide consumers with deep experiences of their product – and manage to generate an emotional experience of ownership – win at the point of purchase”.

More information can be found here.



10 years ago

And the slightly misleading headline of the year award goes to...! What was the selection criteria for testing these three categories? I think we could have all guessed that most people rely on recommendation and positive buzz for cars, smart phones and the like. What about detergents? Soft drinks? Condoms! I would suggest WoM is not so important, so having a headline such as the above is somewhat misleading. However, its a good principle and good to review periodically, if you Google Pathways to Purchase by Harris Interactive they did exactly this on 20 categories a few years back.

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10 years ago

Agree with Anonymous. Misleading headline. And as someone who worked at Harris and was involved in promoting the research at the time then be assured there are differences across categories and also be assured that the pathway to purchase is littered with hurdles, distractions, re-consideration. The percentages for social media in this article look way too high. I am sure there is more detail in the report but throwing out percentages like this does little to credit the research. My article on utalkmarketing is still available.

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