People Are Talking About You

elephant talk

We start the week with something that won’t tax our brains too badly.  Today it’s a report that confirms something I think we probably all know but of which it’s nice to have confirmation.  In a nutshell, we learn that people are the best brand ambassadors and that many folks tell their friends when they’ve had a great experience as well as when they’re unhappy.  While there may be a tendency to assume that only the negative stuff gets talked about, that’s just not the case.

Here is the gist of the study as reported by eMarketer:

A survey of on-line women in North America by female-focused marketing and communications firm Harbinger found that 92% of them turn to friends and family for product information, making word-of-mouth their top source. They consider it important to seek and share information on a variety of product categories, with appliances, restaurants, automobiles and entertainment leading the list.

In every product category studied, sharing good experiences, and often a desire to help other consumers make smart purchases, came ahead of sharing bad experiences as a word-of-mouth generator. A truly negative brand experience may still garner negative buzz on-line or off-line, but the women surveyed were more inspired by the positive.

Enter social media.  I’m still surprised that a number of marketers don’t believe it can have an effect on sales nor that they ought to be in the space.  At a minimum, I think all brands need to be listening – monitoring the buzz – or risk letting incorrect or single bad experiences tarnish their brand.  The conversation is clearly going on with or without you – at least you can participate in the digital ones!  The choice is yours.

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