Friday, May 23, 2008

The consumers voice outways any other noise

Sam Decker writes on NetImperitive that good old word of mouth is the most effective form of communications. We're glad he agrees.

Focusing on consumer reviews online, he shows that the voice of the consumer far outways the messaging from a traditional ad campaign.

Today, advertising is so ubiquitous that it becomes ignored. Ironically, the oldest form of ‘advertising’ – word of mouth – sounds fresh, modern, and – more importantly – trustworthy and credible. Chief Marketing Officer of Bazaarvoice Sam Decker shares how online brands are increasingly using their customers’ word of mouth to fuel traditional advertising.

Today’s consumers are smarter than ever. They quickly spot and discount hype, largely ignore traditional advertising and tend to distrust advertising messages delivered by huge companies.

Advertisers work to capture sales while battling against ever-expanding ad options, shorter attention spans, rising production and placement costs and the growing mistrust of consumers. Traditional marketing campaigns only scale moderately, and that’s only if the costs per impression decreases or the advertising effectiveness increases

If it’s a question of trust, consumers’ words beat yours. According to a global Nielsen survey, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising, cited by 78% of respondents. The Edelman Trust Barometer tells us that trust in ‘a person like me’ has tripled, from 20% to 68% from 2004 to 2006, and in 2007 ‘a person like me’ is still the biggest influencer to consumers. Royal Mail’s 2007 Home Shopping Tracker Study in found that two thirds of UK social networkers are more likely to buy a product as a result of a recommendation.

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