It’s no secret that word of mouth is powerful. Buyers are increasingly viewing consumer recommendations as critical inputs for purchase decisions. But for marketers thinking about a consumer’s radius of influence, online social networks are only part of the story. Consider this: over 90 percent of conversations happen offline.
Consumers are having conversations about products and brands, both on- and offline, and making recommendations to their family, friends, and coworkers. Nearly 50 percent of consumers 18-54 are highly likely to purchase an item based on word of mouth. To achieve return on investment, it’s critical to connect with the right consumers – those who are most likely to champion brand messages and pass them on to others.
MSN consumers talk about brands. They have 20 percent more brand conversations per week, on average, than adults overall. And for many categories, that gap is even greater. For example, MSN consumers have 28 percent more automotive brand conversations and 35 percent more financial services brand conversations. For both of these categories, the MSN audience ranks first versus competitors Google, Yahoo!, AOL, and Facebook.
MSN consumers are conversation leaders. Across categories, the percentage of the MSN audience that keeps up with “what’s new” is significantly greater than that of the overall adult population. This means that MSN consumers are more likely to stay current with brands, including new product and service offerings.
Through its MSN audience, Microsoft Advertising aggregates consumers who are socially active and deeply engaged in word of mouth. This audience provides differentiated value to advertisers in three areas:
- More word-of-mouth drivers. MSN consumers engage in more daily brand conversations across key categories, have larger peer networks, and are more active on Facebook across key behaviors and activities.
- High-quality brand conversations. The majority of MSN consumer brand conversations are overwhelmingly positive. Plus, MSN consumers are highly likely to be influenced by the advice of others and pass those comments on.
- Receptivity to marketing. Brand conversations among MSN’s consumers are influenced by advertising and internet marketing.
For savvy marketers who are proactively thinking about how to best take advantage of the word-of-mouth opportunity and increase their return on marketing spend, reaching the right audience is imperative. Through its MSN audience, Microsoft Advertising offers the ideal consumers to drive offline and online word of mouth: those who are socially active, influential, and receptive to online marketing.