Most WOM still offline in UK

23 August 2011

LONDON: The vast majority of word of mouth regarding companies and brands is still spread in the UK by offline means, new figures show.

Keller Fay, the specialist consultancy, estimated that over 90% of such conversations were attributable to traditional media, while digital channels contributed less than 10% of the total.

More specifically, it reported that 81% of interactions in which products or services were mentioned by name were in face-to-face conversations.

In contrast, only 10% of discussions occurred on the phone and just 9% were generated by the web, including via email and social networks.

Overall, the typical British consumer spoke about approximately 10 brands every day, according to Keller Fay.

Encouragingly for marketers, two-thirds of conversations concerning these goods and services could be described as "mostly positive in tone", it added.

Indeed, the company revealed that more than one-third of word of mouth (WOM) involved an active recommendation to try a brand or product.

By industry sector, the food and dining segment attracted the highest levels of collective offline and online buzz, ahead of the media and entertainment in second position.

Steve Thomson, managing director of Keller Fay in the UK, said: "The importance of word of mouth and its ability to drive sales and brand health have been proven many times."

Keller Fay is launching its TalkTrack service, which analyses over 250,000 brand conversations a year, in the UK, having previously introduced WOM data into the IPA's TouchPoints survey.

Data sourced from Keller Fay; additional content by Warc staff