50. What does that number mean to you? Perhaps, you think of golden wedding anniversaries when you think of 50. Or maybe you think of how it is the fifth magic number in nuclear physics. It represents the number of states in the US This is also a key achievement in the NHL: 50 goals in 50 games.
Beyond those connections, fifty is important for word-of-mouth marketing. Why? Because completely half of all Americans would choose word of mouth offline or online if they only had to choose one source of information when researching a purchase.
This is because we trust each other more than ever, and we trust businesses and organizations less. Global PR company Edelman reports on trust trends in the Trust Barometer my annual . In 2017, it showed the biggest drop in trust ever for government organisations, businesses, media and NGOs. At the same time, “someone like yourself” becomes a trusted source of information like a technical or academic expert and much more trustworthy than an executive or government official.
Declining confidence is not isolated to business and government institutions. In our 2018 word of mouth report, Chat Problems , we found Americans don’t necessarily trust a conventional marketing method: celebrity endorsements and recommendations. At a time when businesses are spending more on influencer marketing, our research shows those efforts may not be working, at least for the top celebrities. We asked our respondents which celebrity they would rely on for the most recommendations. 25% said “no.”
Of the celebrities mentioned, Oprah was mentioned most often with 4% saying they would trust her recommendations. A stunning 285 different celebrities mentioned by only one respondent.
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Trust: Your Business’s Most Important Asset
Author and keynote speaker David Horsager says “trust is a company’s most important asset,” and he was right. But the delivery vehicle for that trust is not the company itself. Those are the company’s customers. Consider these points when it comes to the business value of trust:
- According to a Survey on Engagement Labs , 19% of all purchases — or $7 to $10 trillion in annual consumer spending in the United States — are driven directly by word of mouth. As much as 40% of all purchases are influenced by word of mouth.
- Digital consulting company Cognizant shows that nearly half of us will pay premiums for products and services from companies we trust, but 57% of us will stop doing business with a company that has offended our news.
- According to a survey Social Media Today 86% of people say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they support and trust.
Trust us. Trust issue.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to build trust, but less than 1% of marketers have a strategy to make it happen. That’s exactly why I teamed up with my friend, Daniel Lemin, to write Chat trigger . We cannot assume that word of mouth will come to fruition spontaneously. Businesses need a purposeful differentiator to get people talking. We call this the Chat Trigger. You can read more about this idea when our book is released on October 3. Until then, get the latest and complete word-of-mouth data when you download it. Small problems .
Small problems is an exclusive word of mouth report produced by Convince & Convert Consulting and research firm Audience Audit. It examines the word-of-mouth attitudes of 1,001 randomly selected Americans. The margin of error is approximately +/- 3.1%. Chatter Matters is a companion to my brand new book, Chat Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth .