The Importance of Brand Recommendations in Your Marketing Strategy

Pam Dyer Marketing Director, SolutionsIQ

Posted on September 3rd 2013

The Importance of Brand Recommendations in Your Marketing Strategy

Knowing why and how consumers use recommendations will help you create more effective marketing programs.

Facebook likes brand recommendationsAccording to research conducted by Nielsen, we know that 92% of consumers report that “word-of-mouth and recommendations from people [they] know” are the leading influence on their purchase behavior. Only 37% trust search engine ads, and just 24% trust online banner ads. They trust their friends and family the most when looking for brand recommendations. But what types of recommendations carry the most weight? 

Brands are eager to tap into the power of recommendations, and many companies measure an “NPS,” or Net Promoter Score, which illustrates how likely someone is to recommend a specific brand or company. According to a U.K. study by Fred Reichheld, “a 7% increase in word of-mouth advocacy unlocks 1% additional company growth.” His research also shows that “a 12% increase in brand advocacy, on average, generates a 2x increase in revenue growth rate plus boosts market share” and, conversely, “a 2% reduction in negative word-of-mouth boosts sales growth by 1%.”

What do consumers consider to be actual recommendations and whom do they trust?

A recent report by social media marketing agency Zócalo Group delves into how consumers view on- and offline recommendations from their friends, family, and peers. Their results show that 46% percent of their respondents were influenced by their Facebook friends liking pages — tied with positive brand reviews and just 1% behind YouTube video reviews.

online recommendations

The study found that:

  • 92% of consumers view word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family as the most influential with regard to purchasing decisions.
  • People define Facebook likes, positive brand reviews, and video reviews on YouTube as recommendations, along with someone offline who expresses their love for a brand and a friend or co-worker who uses a specific brand.
  • The top 4 most trusted sources for recommendations are a close friend, a family member, a brand advocate, and a product expert.
  • Peer-to-peer recommendations are 20 times more valuable than celebrity endorsements.
  • 49% of people make recommendations because they want to help people.

What does this mean for brand marketers?

Recommendations are the gold standard for moving consumers down the purchase funnel. We all know that brand recommendations are happening on a daily basis, and this study shows more about where and why they’re happening.

All recommendation are not created equal, of course, and the source always matters — brand endorsements must come from your customers. Some channels are more effective than others, so it’s important to know where to reach your customers and inspire those recommendations.

This infographic from Zócalo Group illustrates the study’s findings:

online Marketing Strategy



Pam Dyer

Marketing Director, SolutionsIQ

Pam Dyer is an integrated marketing executive dedicated to helping companies grow via innovative branding and audience engagement programs. She delivers results by leading teams to create forward-looking strategies and translate them into measurable tactics, iterating as needed to achieve corporate goals. She is a big-picture thinker and relationship-builder who thrives in environments where collaboration is embraced. Pam has a passion for achieving business results through supporting people, growing teams, and sharing success.

Pam authors an award-winning blog, Pamorama, which helps businesses optimize their brands, create customer engagement, and drive sales by using social media channels and content marketing programs. She has educated thousands of people about how to create, manage, and measure outreach initiatives on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and other social networks. Pam has a global footprint and routinely receive questions and comments from her audience, the majority of whom are in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, the Philippines, India, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. Her content is syndicated via Social Media Today, Business2Community, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, CustomerThink, Google News, Mediabistro, and other outlets.

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Tasos Veliadis
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 5:02AM

very usefull article!! 

Ajay Prasad
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 9:21AM

Great article Pam! Very useful and interesting for Marketing Strategy. The most noted thing to be focused is that how recommendation are important for marketing your brand.

Thanks for sharing such a great article!

Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 11:36AM

Thanks to you both for reading my post -- I'm glad you find it useful! :)

Tasos Veliadis
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 3:30PM

the statisticks are really great!! Very useful for digital strategy presentations! Congrats again!

Posted on September 4th 2013 at 2:13AM

Very useful article Pam Dyer, It will help to finalize my next strategy. 

Posted on September 4th 2013 at 12:03PM

Excellent, Mary -- glad I could help! :)

Posted on September 4th 2013 at 2:44AM

I agree with you,knowing why and how consumers use recommendations will help you create more effective marketing programs.Thanks for the tips,I learned a lot from this article.