Word-Of-Mouth Influence Still Strong In Digital Age

Although brand-related face-to-face conversations have declined somewhat in the face of digital media, word-of-mouth talk is still the dominant form of brand communication among consumers.

In 2015, 72% percent of brand-related conversations came in the form of face-to-face talk -- down from 77% in 2008, according to word-of-mouth marketing researcher Engagement Labs’ Keller Fay Group.

Further down the list of brand conversations is text/messaging, which now has a 6% share of all brand-related conversations, up from 3% in 2008. Social media is at a 3% share, up from 1%. Phone conversations about brands are down 13%, from 16% for brand talk.

Email conversations have remained the same at 3%.

Keller Fay says one of every three dollars in the U.S. economy is spent as a result of word-of-mouth conversation.



The growth of digital media is kick-starting word-of-mouth conversations. Keller Fay says one in four brand conversations -- 24% -- involve some reference to information seen online, up from 11% since 2008.

Brand Web sites have been the most frequently quoted digital platforms for brand conversations -- now 6.3% of all digital references, up from 4.4%. Social media have jumped to 5.4% from 1.3%, while Internet ads have climbed to 5.2% from 3.5%.

Keller Fay says in a report: “What this means is that people are not having conversations that are strictly online or offline, but rather, their conversations are blending the digital and analog.”

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