MMNPL 2017 Insight: Word of Mouth Matters More for Women

by Belfort Group | Consumer , Launch PR , Thought Leadership
April 24, 2018

The following insight is from our 2017 Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey, scroll down to download the full eBook. 

While our survey results for the last three years show that there is little to no gender gap in recall for new product launches, there is a drastic difference between men and women in the sources of information used when learning about new products.

For most of the information sources tracked in our survey, women are more likely than men to cite them as sources used to learn about new products- ten to twenty percent more likely in most cases.

“Recommendations from family and friends” has the biggest gender gap in usage. Forty-seven percent of women cite recommendations from family and friends as a source of new product information, but just 28 percent of men say the same. That means women are 19 percent more likely to learn about new product launches from people they know and trust. We’ve learned from our survey that recommendations are one of the most influential information sources about new products. Seventy-nine percent of consumers we surveyed said that they were influenced to try or buy a new product based on a recommendation. Meaning that marketers looking to reach women need to rely heavily on customer loyalty and word-of-mouth to be successful. To accomplish this goal, a product not only needs to be of good quality or incredibly innovative, the brand must have excellent customer service and reliability to gain the type of loyalty needed to spur strong recommendations.

Other sources that were cited more often by women than men included “In-store displays/signage at shelf,” “Facebook,” and “TV commercials.” “TV commercials” top the list of sources used for new product information for both men and women, but women are eight percent more likely than men to learn about a new product from a TV commercial. Women are nine percent more likely than men to learn about a new product on Facebook and women are 14 percent more likely than men to learn about a new product from an in-store display or shelf signage. Yet these sources of new product information vary in how much they influence consumers to try or buy a new product.

source of awareness of new product graph

From this chart, we can see that if you want to influence women to buy your product, your next best bet after word-of-mouth is a great in-store display or shelf signage. More than half of the consumers we surveyed (53%) said they were influenced by in-store displays or signage to try or buy a new product. And then in order of decreasing influence, TV commercials and Facebook still enjoy a healthy share of influence with each having more than a third of consumers saying those information sources influenced their purchase decisions.

But what if you want to reach men? We see in the first chart that men are more likely than women to learn about a new product from watching the news or watching a video on YouTube. We also see in our influence chart (page 14) that YouTube was cited as having influenced a purchase decision by 51 percent of consumers. Marketers looking to reach men should contemplate creating some high-value video content that will secure interest from men and hopefully help them decide to try a new product. This could be accomplished by either self- publishing a video or securing a partnership with a YouTube influencer with a strong following, or directly targeting your audience with the content via social channels.

Besides that, a little bit of traditional media relations can help brands land a coveted spot for their new product in a prominent publication or on a TV news broadcast. This tried and true method of gaining new product awareness may be falling in influence for purchase decisions, but brands can capitalize on some of that interest by posting great content about the new product online or using native content to push the reach of third-party content to specific target audiences. If exposure to the product through a TV news story is followed by an internet search and/or delivery of sponsored content that includes video content or a coupon offer, the influence of your follow-up marketing can spur sales.

How Important in Decisions Graph


Our 2017 Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey is available for download from the form below:

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