Google's Think Insights on Word of Mouth Advertising


Google's Think Insights recently published their study "Word of Mouth Advertising and the Internet". Based on the fact that there are 2.4 billion conversations per day that involve a brand name totally 3.3 billion mentions of brands, Google did a study to look at the effects of the internet on these brand conversations and the effect on Word of Mouth (WOM). They had 3,000 adults respond to questions on how they used media or marketing sources before the conversation (triggered or sparked the brand talk), during the conversation (checked facts, referenced a source, shared content), and after the conversation (shared more widely, took action, or to learn more). Here are some of their key findings:

  • 94% of Word of Mouth still take place face-to-face
  • Google was the #1 source for sparking WOM conversations and the #1 place for finding more information after the conversation
  • WOM conversations that start with search are more 25% more credible and 17% more likely to lead to a purchase than that those stared with social media sites

You can see the full report here. It's interesting that vast majority of these brand conversations are still taking place in person. And, it makes sense because I see my closest friends, those that influence me the most,  in person more than online. I'm not surprised that Google is the top site for sparking interest for these conversations, it is the top search engine. According to the study, search (and therefore Google) are still the most referenced sites used before, during, or after a conversation. Social Media is lagging back at 3.2%, do you think this will change in the next few years? Will my friends see where I'm shopping, eating, and what brands I "Like" and make purchase decisions based on that?  Is it still Word of Mouth if we aren't really talking about it, just doing it and being seen? I still think search will be a huge factor after the WOM conversation for research. We know what Google thinks, what do you think?