Even with all the FOG (Fear Of Google) out there, most people in the directory industry will agree that the biggest competitor to directory advertising is word-of-mouth. eMarketer gives us some new data points around the topic. They also published a new report that you can buy here.
More and more, consumers are relying on advice from friends, family and even strangers to make purchase decisions, select physicians, choose travel destinations and pick politicians to vote for. And many of them are giving — and getting — that advice online. By eMarketer’s latest estimates, over 25 million US adults regularly share advice on products or services online.
Adult Internet users surveyed by DoubleClick chose recommendations from friends as the one type of promotion they consider most worthwhile.
What it means: I am a big believer in the ability of the Web to capture (and monetize) a large portion of these word-of-mouth referrals. I agree that friends and family are a major source of referrals but I think we forget that communities/groups/associations are also a trusted source for recommendations. And we’re seeing more and more of these communities online. Influencers can be found in blogs, niche verticals and social network groups (ex: Facebook groups) as well and you trust these people sometimes as much (if not more) than your friends.