Trusted Sources of Information

In a growing Web 2.0 world, consumer-generate content is becoming a staple for successful sites and sales. This is a big advantage for word of mouth marketing (WOMM) and those of us interested in using it. But as a novice in this area, you may not be sure what mediums to start with. eMarketer posted an article today with studies indicating people’s most trusted sources and where influencers flock.

As I say in most of my posts, identifying the niche for your product is most important place to begin. The niche(s) determines the subject of your messages and where you go to advertise your product. This perspective still applies with word of mouth marketing.

Information in the following charts can help us understand where consumers trend. We can use the information to choose where to begin our word of mouth campaign or even our general advertising.

We all know family and friends typically give us our most trusted information. The following graph presents consumer-trusted sources by popularity. When thinking about your WOM or advertising campaign, your goal is to get people on board with the following type of classifications or experiences.


People spread the word about a product with varying intensities. The most intense word-of-mouth communicators or “influencers” are the most attractive. One major component of WOMM sometimes crosses with publicity by attracting key persons to review your product and talk about it in articles or on their blogs. The chart bellow from eMarketer, based on a 2006 study, identifies key places influencers go to get their information. The first column, adult influencers, represents key influencers who shape consumer attitudes.


If you want to attract key people to your product, locations in the chart above is where you should start either advertising or request them to review your product.

For those of us who don’t think our product is excellent or that flaws in the product will be learned quickly, I suggest not advertising in some of the locations above. If your product is sub-par, people in these places will be the first to find that out and potentially spread the information on how much your product fails. That statement may seem unethical, but most of us at some point represent products we don’t have in confidence. Yet, we still want to do our best to make it sell as best as possible. Word of mouth marketing doesn’t work positively for weak products. The word will get out about its ineffectiveness (or people will simply not say anything about it). But, it’s possible to slow down the discovery and get strong initial buy-in using other traditional forms of marketing.

One Reply to “Trusted Sources of Information”

  1. It sounds like your research reinforces what we authors hear all the time: a great book is the best marketing tool.

    Great post!

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