Sales Troubles? No Comment(s)

Influence of various sources of information on purchasing

Influence of various sources of information on purchasing - Rubicon Consulting 10/2008

It probably won’t surprise you that personal advice is the number one reason people buy products from one company vs. another. It’s only natural to ask a co-worker, friend or family member’s advice before purchasing a new product or service. What I’ll bet you didn’t know was that online comments were the second most influential source for driving purchase consideration*. And not just by a little bit.

As you can see from the chart below, 50% of the 3,036 people surveyed selected “influence me strongly” or “influence me very strongly” as their choice when it comes to online comments. That compares to 70% of people that cite “personal advice” as their top motivator and 40% who look to “articles posted by newspapers/magazines” for advice.

So what if you don’t have comments on your site? What if you don’t have any type of community or social presence? Unless you can get people telling their friends and family about you (something online communities/social media is also good at) you have to hope that a magazine or newspaper will write about you or the editor of a third party website favorably reviews you. Not surprisingly, “advice from salesperson” comes in at a whopping 20% in the top 2 box.

In a society where people are becoming less and less trusting of what big companies are telling them, don’t you think it makes sense to create a place where your customers can tell other customers what they think about you? Yes, they may something bad but guess what, if you don’t make good products or your customer service stinks, they are already saying this about you. Don’t believe me? Try doing a Google search on your company’s name plus the word “sucks” in your query.

Looking for an example of a company that is doing this well? Take a look at Sony’s Backstage 101 community. Their engagement, loyalty and willingness to recommend numbers are off the charts. Yes, Sony is a customer of ours but don’t take our word for it. Check out the case study that our friends at MarketingProfs put together.[the report requires premium membership – if you need a copy, e-mail me at stroutmeister AT gmail DOT com].

*Online Communities and Their Impact on Business: Ignore at Your Peril – Rubicon Consulting, October 2008 (thanks to our friends at SHIFT for forwarding this report over to us).

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