Customer Experience Research Team
Dec 09, 2019
Word of mouth can be a powerful factor in customer purchase decisions. Context matters, though. Prospective customers make only one-third of their purchases primarily based on advocacy from another person. Marketing leaders should take into account factors to do with the product and the prospective customer’s context, which influence whether a purchase will fall inside that one-third band.
For instance, when customers make expensive, rare purchases they are are more likely to have their decision influenced by an advocate than they are for habitual and inexpensive items. People have less personal knowledge about or experience with a product they buy rarely, and they have more to lose from a bad decision on a high-priced item. These factors together make them more likely to seek input on the decision.
B2B customers are also more than twice as likely as B2C customers to consider word-of-mouth inputs when making a purchase decision, and they consider a larger number of advocacy views. The higher price tag and larger scale of B2B purchases raise the stakes, encouraging the buyer or buyer group to do more due diligence since their reputation could be damaged by a bad decision. They want to be sure to make the right call.
Advocacy also has a larger impact on customers who are already familiar with a product or brand. Existing customers are between two-and-a-half times and six-and-a-half times more likely to make a new purchase influenced by advocacy as someone who was unfamiliar with the product. Customers who are familiar with the brand but not yet a customer are three-and-a-half times more likely to be influenced by an advocate.
Use this insight about where advocacy makes the biggest impact to improve how your marketing team leverages customer word of mouth for optimum sales impact.