What is the most powerful selling tool?

This just in from the folks at Nielsen.  No great shock (I don’t think) to see word of mouth topping the chart, in terms of effective selling tools.  The power of a recommendation from a known/trusted source has long been the gold standard.

But what’s pretty interesting, and a big change from a few years ago, is the third highest item on the list.  Opinions posted online. 

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So, what do you think?  What does this say about blogging?  Sites like epinion.com?

If you’re on the company side — what do you think it means for you and where you spend your resources?  If you’re a consultant or agency-side pro — what do you think it means for you and for your clients?

By the way…this was an international survey.  It covers 47 Markets: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, US and Vietnam.

Related posts:

~ How to get customers to talk about you
~ Is that your hand in my pocket?
~ Your future customer is behaving very oddly

4 comments on “What is the most powerful selling tool?

  1. I think many surveys are flawed. The reason I saw that is because it really depends on many different demographics.

    Each niche can and most likely does react differently to different forms of advertising.

    Nonetheless, it is interesting though. As you mentioned, word of mouth isn’t surprising and I’d say that’s definitely 100% accurate. That’s good to hear as a blogger.

  2. Brad Shorr says:

    Consumer opinions posted online are really another form of recommendations from consumers – could that be considered one category? Clearly, companies need to have a blog and/or stimulate online conversations about their brand and products. Traditional advertising is still important, but these days, I think lots of people will see an ad, and then comb the web to find customer opinions. If the opinions are negative, or aren’t there at all, the advertising may be totally wasted.

  3. Nathan Snell says:

    While statistics aren’t always the best indicator of things, that’s a nice list to see. I agree with Brad, it would seem to me that ‘consumer recommendations’ and ‘online opinions’ are about the same thing. I think the main point here may be to differentiate between the two (WOM vs. strictly online opinions, which is a form of WOM, yes).

    I think this continues to stress the importance of companies needing to learn to listen, respond, and take action.

  4. Your post have brought me a greater insight into a deeper level of thinking for me and I just wish to say thanks.

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