Direct Line Blog

Mintel: In-person recommendations trump online

Share this article:
What an interesting study from Mintel — it says:



Despite increased online activity, new research from Mintel shows real-life referrals are still more influential to consumers than those received online.

Mintel's exclusive consumer survey showed most people who bought a product or service based off a recommendation did so on a referral from a friend/relative or husband/wife/partner (34% and 25%, respectively). Only 5% of respondents bought based on the recommendation of a blogger, the same for a chat room.



I'm not that surprised by these findings, but I think there's a disconnect. It may be true that people tend to buy more based on recommendations of people they know than strangers, but it's equally likely that a lot of those recommendations are taking place online. For example, on Facebook, I'll occasionally see a status update from someone I went to high school with that mentions a product, or movie, or something. Even though I may not have talked to this person in some time, because I have more information about who they are and what they like based on our past relationship, it informs my feelings on the item.

With a relatively anonymous blogger or product recommendation, I don't have the context required for me to fully process what that recommendation means for me. However, what a good or bad product recommendation can do is trigger a phone call or e-mail or some sort of other message to a person's social network, online, offline or both, to get a more informed opinion. For example, "Hey Dad, I read online that this product is good/bad because of _____." What have you heard?

It's there that the value of product recommendations, right now, lies — in beginning the conversation around and raising awareness of a product and allowing consumers that extra date with which to make their decision. Sure, only 5% may make a purchase directly because of the recommendation — but far more than that are likely to be spurred to research and make a decision based on something else, all because of what that recommendation says.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Direct Line Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week

Data Services, Inc. meets the needs of today's data-driven marketer by providing front-end database management and data analytics platforms alongside our expertise in global contact data quality, database building and ongoing maintenance that comes with our 45+ years in business.


Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

The USTA's Strategy to Ace the Customer Experience

The USTA's Strategy to Ace the Customer Experience

The US Open may be the organization's centerpiece, but its CX strategy is a year-round endeavor.

One Town That Will Track You Down

One Town That Will Track You Down

Chicago is outfitting its streets with censors that track traffic patterns and cell phone usage. Hey, can you get Wi-Fi widdat?

Gaming Companies Excel at Engaging GenY

Gaming Companies Excel at Engaging GenY

Connecting with millennials isn't as hard as marketers think, and these companies are proving it.