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Negative word of mouth v Positive word of mouth

Last week Robert East from Kingston University described at the Pärnu Marketing Conference that negative word of mouth (NWOM) is less frequent (and impacts less) than many people imagine. In his summary Good News about Bad News (pdf) we find the suggestion the positive word of mouth (PWOM) is 3 times more likely than NWOM.

This (PWOM > NWOM) view is supported by a recent Keller Fay Group report (PDF).

As reported at Church of the Customer most word of mouth is positive (92%) and offline.

From Church of the Customer blog:

62%: Percentage of marketing-related discussions described as “mostly positive.”

9%: Percentage of marketing-related discussions described as “mostly negative.”

92%: Percentage of word of mouth conversations that occur offline; 71% of those occur face-to-face, and 21% occur by phone.

PS One of the stats from Robert’s research was that only 12% of word of mouth (negative or positive) is driven by customer satisfaction. This is counter intuitive and runs against the “feeling” that WOM and customer satisfaction should be more closely linked. They are not. This means HUGE opportunities for online marketers. Read the findings carefully…there is gold in there… 🙂

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