Word of mouth has major impact in Australia

19 July 2010

SYDNEY: Consumers in Australia have nearly ten conversations about brands every day, meaning word of mouth is an extremely effective way of improving key metrics like brand consideration and trial.

Soup, the specialist agency, worked with Keller Fay, the research firm, on a project that asked 2,800 people in the country to keep a record of their daily interactions with goods and services.

In all, 28,000 relevant discussions were captured, with the typical respondent participating in 67.8 brand-related exchanges each week, compared to 65.7 in the US.

Overall, the food and out-of-home dining sector generated the highest level of buzz, with media and entertainment in second position on this measure.

More specifically, telecoms, food, restaurant, technology and automotive brands were among the most talked-about offerings.

A majority of these engagements between consumers featured an active recommendation to try - or consider buying - a particular product.

"The findings … dispel the myth that word of mouth tends to be negative, as almost two-thirds of conversations are positive," said Katie Rigg Smith, partner, communications and planning at MindShare.

Most of the advice received by shoppers came from an "inner circle" of people who are trusted sources of guidance, with spouses and partners on 29%, friends on 25% and family on 24%.

Influencers, a demographic made up of individuals thought to exert a profound impact on the views of others, have networks of contacts 74% larger than the norm, and double the number of brand conversations.

This audience is both more likely to disseminate information and to place a greater value on the opinions of their peers than is the case for the general public as a whole.

Data sourced from Soup; additional content by Warc staff