friends talk about products and things they love, word of mouth statistics proves how powerful this is

Word of Mouth Statistics and Key Insights for 2023

The data is in, and the results are clear. Word-of-mouth statistics prove that this form of marketing is both compelling and powerful. No surprise here. Word-of-mouth has been successfully connecting buyers and seller since, well, the birth of trade.

If you’re looking to improve your company’s bottom line, read on for statistics on why word of mouth matters and tips for creating a high-performing WOM strategy. Companies that tap into word of mouth see reduced churn. They increase customer loyalty. Plus, they enjoy new sales. All are key business goals that are attainable through an effective word of mouth marketing marketing program.

Another foundation of why word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) works is When it comes to purchasing decisions, we all rely heavily on the opinions of friends and family. On the flip side, we can hardly contain ourselves when we have a positive experience with a company or product. The vast majority of people gladly inform everyone they know about the incredible thing they tried.

Today, I’ll decode the buzz around word-of-mouth marketing. We’ll dive into the heart of the latest data to understand why this strategy remains a powerful tool in 2023.

What is word-of-mouth marketing?

First, let’s explain what word-of-mouth marketing is. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is a form of brand or product evangelism that has gained new life in the digital age, despite being an old concept. When customers have trust in the product they use and believe in the brand behind it, they are more likely to confidently recommend it to others. This leads to a positive reputation for the brand and its products, fostering greater trust among a wider audience. With each new recommendation and subsequent positive experience, the brand’s reputation grows.

Instead of relying solely on traditional advertising, businesses are now seeking personal recommendations. We’ve all heard the phrase “a happy customer is the best advertisement.” That’s precisely what WOMM is all about—encouraging customers to share positive experiences and influence others’ buying decisions.

In essence, marketing based on word-of-mouth statistics is a pure form of advertising that leverages real customer experiences to generate new sales.

Word-of-mouth marketing statistics

We’ve compiled some stats on word-of-mouth promotion to help you grasp its significance. Research conducted using numerous sources over many years supports the growing behavior and value of word-of-mouth marketing.

However, word-of-mouth marketing is a largely untapped strategy. Moreover, many marketers are unaware of the full impact of WOMM or how to measure it. When you look at the data, you’ll see that word-of-mouth is, without a doubt, effective. Dive into the numbers and discover for yourself how powerful word-of-mouth marketing can be.

Word-of-mouth marketing impact and value

Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to increase their marketing effectiveness. When used effectively, WOMM has the potential to significantly boost revenue for both established and new products. For marketers and brands, leveraging WOMM can lead to considerably improved return on investment compared to other marketing methods.

👉  Word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. –  MarketShare

👉  Robust advocacy-marketing programs are achieving significant revenue gains of 10% to 20% for established products and up to 100% for new products.

👉  Consumers rely on word-of-mouth 2x to 10x more than paid media. – Boston Consulting Group

👉  Surprisingly, 23% of consumers engage in daily conversations with friends and family about their favorite products.

word of mouth marketing statistics people sharing things they use and love

People trust word-of-mouth

People trust people! That’s why they tend to turn to each other for product recommendations. A number of studies suggest that word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful and growing trend.

Consumers greatly trust personal endorsements over other types of marketing. Trust in recommendations from friends and family can significantly influence consumer behavior. For brands, building a marketing strategy around such endorsements could enhance credibility and foster a strong relationship with customers.

👉  Beyond friends and family, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.

👉  Nielsen reports that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising.

👉  84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness. – Nielsen

Word-of-mouth influences purchases

Word-of-mouth plays a significant role in influencing purchasing decisions. When friends or family members approve a product, it increases the likelihood of purchase. This suggests that brands can significantly benefit from incorporating word-of-mouth strategies into their marketing efforts to increase sales and customer engagement.

👉  77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. – Nielsen

👉 Also, in the same study, Nielsen found that consumers are 77% more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family.

👉  Word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions. – McKinsey.

👉  Millennials ranked word of mouth as the #1 influencer in their purchasing decisions. – Radius Global

👉  Referred customers are four times more likely to refer more customers to your brand.  – Nielsen

👉  81% of U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by their friend’s social media posts, versus 78% who are influenced by the social posts of the brands they follow on social media. – Market Force

👉  74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. – Ogilvy/Google/TNS

👉  43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends on social media. – Nielsen

👉  71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.

Word-of-mouth marketing drives sales

Referrals and customer retention

Customer referrals and retention are critical factors that contribute to the success of a business. A customer referred through word-of-mouth has a higher lifetime value and loyalty compared to others. For brands, focusing on customer referrals can lead to higher customer retention rates and increased spending.

👉  The lifetime value of a customer referred through word-of-mouth is 25% higher than other customers. –  Wharton School of Business

👉  A referred customer is 18% more loyal than a customer acquired by other means.

👉  Customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher customer retention rate.

👉  Customer acquisitions through referrals spend 200% more than the average customer.

👉  85% of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others. – Syncapse

Online reviews and social media

People chat about brands all the time, which just shows how much they’re into them. It’s all about who you know – friends and followers on social media are usually the first ones to hear about cool brands. So, brands should get their customers to share their awesome experiences and purchases online for everyone to see.

Online reviews and social media play a significant role in shaping consumer behavior. Consumers trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. With the growth of social media, brands should recognize and utilize the power of online reviews and social sharing of purchases to improve brand awareness and credibility.

👉  HubSpot reports that 75% of people don’t believe ads, yet 90% trust suggestions from family and friends, and 70% trust consumer reviews.

👉  WOMMA reports that every day in the United States, there are approximately 2.4 billion brand-related conversations.

👉  49% of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness.

👉  55% of consumers share their purchases socially on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites.

👉  According to SDL, 58% of consumers share their positive experiences with a company on social media and ask for opinions about brands from family, colleagues, and friends.

👉  Americans are more likely to post about good experiences (53%) than poor experiences (35%) on social media. –- American Express 2017 Customer Service Barometer

Remember, people love sharing good news more than the bad stuff. So, if brands want their customers to talk them up on social media, they better make sure their products and services are top-notch!

Cost efficiency

Keeping current customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Moreover, increasing customer retention can substantially boost a company’s profitability. Brands should prioritize customer retention strategies for better cost efficiency and profitability.

👉  According to the National Law Review, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than keeping a current one.

👉  Bain & Co estimates that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost a company’s profitability by 75%. In other words, people trust friends, family (and even strangers) more than they do ads.

👉  One offline word-of-mouth impression drives sales at least 5x five times more than one paid impression. And as much as 100x more for higher-consideration categories. – WOMMA

The best brands market through word of mouth

Brands like Salomon, Specialized, 1-800 contacts, Little Giant Ladders, Blendtec, and Hydro Flask are working with Roster to scale effective word-of-mouth marketing strategies. Through the Roster platform, these brands identify their most influential customers, manage global WOMM campaigns, and measure full-funnel impact.

Learn how by downloading the free Brand Ambassador Playbook and guide.


Learn how to leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Schedule a demo with our team today.


  • linkdin
  • facebook
  • twitter