Word-of-mouth responsible for 13% of sales

Word-of-mouth also acts as an amplifier to paid media, such as television ads

A new study has revealed that word-of-mouth recommendations are responsible for 13% of consumer sales both online and in-store, representing $6trillion annually.

The study, which was organised by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), also found that word-of-mouth recommendations act as an amplifier to paid media, such as television advertisements, with consumers then vocally spreading brand messages.

Other key findings are that the impact of the word-of-mouth reach happens closer to the time of purchase than traditional media, typically within two weeks, while word-of-mouth recommendations drive at least five times more sales than paid advertising.

WOMMA President Suzanne Fanning said: “Intuitively, we know that a consumer recommendation is going to be a powerful contributor to brand sales, but this is the first time a rigorous study has quantified that impact across a range of product and service categories. We hope this research will lead marketers to elevate the role of word of mouth, both online and offline, in their marketing plans.”