Google and Ogilvy research finds word of mouth had biggest impact on purchase decisions (not media)

Consumers are more influenced by word of mouth in buying decisions than by print media, TV and movies, brand websites and even social media.

Google research

That is the finding from Google, which partnered with TNS and Ogilvy to explore how to engage consumers overloaded with information and technology.

The six-month survey of 2,458 recent purchasers of auto vehicles, beauty products and smartphones found that word of mouth topped the influence list.

Top ten points of influence:

  1. Word of mouth (74%)
  2. Retailers and store visits (69%)
  3. You Tube – how-to videos, product visualisation, entertainment (64%)
  4. Twitter (61%)
  5. Company/brand websites (59%)
  6. Facebook (56%)
  7. Pinterest (56%)
  8. Newspapers and magazines (55%)
  9. TV and movies (51%)
  10. Search (51%)

The study – revealed at the Google Beach Pavilion in Cannes – notes that consumers now make purchasing decisions in the same way they consume content – with the purpose of choosing brands that engage their passion and interests.

“With consumer behaviour changing so quickly, understanding that the path to purchase is actually a path to purpose has meaningful implications for brand advertising at all stages along the consumer journey,” said Brandon Berger, worldwide chief digital officer at Ogilvy & Mather.

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  • Chris van Rooyen

    Really? You only just discovered that? This was common knowledge in the 70’s already, long before the ‘technology revolution’. But also notice how high all your percentages are – this means that all forms of media work…doesn’t it? Don’t be too quick to beat your chest, this is not a Google or Ogilvy discovery.

  • Guest

    I mean isn’t this obvious? Agencies really do spend alot of time and money re-justifying the stuff that most ppl instinctively know or have known about for years just to sell it as ‘research’ to lazy brand marketeers.

  • Daniel Todaro

    While developing engaging digital content is a highly important part of the marketing mix, it’s clear from Google and Ogilvy’s research that human interaction and face-to-face communication with a knowledgeable product specialist continues to usurp even the most advanced online and offline strategies. With 69 per cent of consumers influenced by retailers and store visits, it’s vital for brands to develop their in-store strategies in order to capitalise on this opportunity
    and complete the purchase journey in the most appealing way for consumers.
    Having specially trained in-store brand ambassadors who are briefed on a
    brand’s specific target audience and key messaging will allow for personal and
    helpful interactions with people. This approach in-store can be an invaluable
    way of getting customers to consider products they may have otherwise

    According to research commissioned by Gekko earlier this year, when it comes to high-ticket electrical items, 53 per cent of consumers want to touch, feel and experience the product to ensure that they are getting value for money in their purchase. In order to attract shoppers to their stores, retailers must ensure that the in-store experience runs seamlessly alongside the shopping experience online. When consumers walk through the door, the branding, feel and format of the store must feel familiar to the consumer.

    Daniel Todaro, MD at Gekko Group

  • Terence Newnham

    But who or what influences the influencers? So 74% of the sample cited word of mouth as key influence on purchase decision, meaning that they spoke to someone they felt knew what they were talking about. But where did the people they were talking to get their info from? What influenced them?

  • Robby Breadner

    WOM and facebook can be one in the same when a friend give a positive review ON fb. it’s amazing to see youtube being such an integral part of purchase decisions and begs the need for spending the money on an online vid. meanwhile the most expensive advertising: TV and magazine & print are the least effective.

  • nic

    I really don’t know what the big news is here – real marketers have known its been that way for years

  • News24

    Well, in my opinion, the search, should be more more higher valued.. at least 60 – 70 % !