92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends over all forms of advertising. (source: Nielsen)

Advocates' recommendations are the #1 most trusted and influential source across all age groups: millennials, Gen X, baby boomers, and mature adults (source: Deloitte)

Online adults are 5X more likely to trust a brand or product recommendation from friends or family than from an online ad, and they are twice as likely to trust them over information found on a firm’s website. (source: Forrester)

Advocates' recommendations are the most trusted and influential source in all four countries studied (China 79%; US 76%; UK 75%; Brazil 74%.  (source: Razorfish)

Consumers trust user-generated content or UGC 50% more than they trust other media (source: Crowdtap)

Of people who trust UGC most, 76% view user-generated content (UGC) as more honest than advertising (source: Olapic


Trusted friends and family have 5X more influence on purchase decisions than paid online influencers and 8X more influence than celebrity endorsers (source: SurveyMonkey)

Between 20% to 50% of all purchases are driven by Advocates' recommendations (source: McKinsey)

According to the Chatter Matters: 2018 Word of Mouth Report, 83% of Americans said that they were more likely to purchase a product or service if it was recommended by a friend or family member.

According to McKinsey, a high-impact recommendation conveying a relevant message is up to 50 times more likely to trigger a purchase than a low-impact recommendation.

Advocates' recommendations are the #1 driver of consumer purchase decisions at every stage in the purchase cycle across 10 product categories studied, from banking to vacation travel and retail categories like apparel and personal products (source: Keller Fay)

64% of marketers believe Word of Mouth marketing is more effective than traditional marketing (source: American Marketing Association)

The sales conversion rate when Advocates recommend products or services to friends is 35%. (source: Social @Ogilvy) The average online conversion rate is about 1% (source: multiple)

Word of Mouth drives 13% of consumers sales, equivalent to $6 trillion. (source: "Return on Word of Mouth," study conducted by Sequent Partners for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association)

88% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by user-generated content (UGC) such as product and service reviews (source: Gartner Group)

The value of a Word of Mouth impression is anywhere from 5 to 100+ times more valuable than a paid media impression. (source: "Return on Word of Mouth," study conducted by Sequent Partners for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association)

Word of Mouth drives 13% of consumers sales, equivalent to $6 trillion. (source: "Return on Word of Mouth," study conducted by Sequent Partners for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association)

88% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by user-generated content (UGC) such as product and service reviews (source: Gartner Group)



Advocacy is among the top influences of new auto purchases, with over a third of new auto buyers saying they were moderately or completely influenced by recommendations from friends. (source: Foresight)


Hotels that increase their ratings by one point on TripAdvisor can boost revenues 39%. (source: "Hotel Performance Impact of Socially Engaging with Consumers," Cornell University Hospitality Research Center.)

Hotels revenues grow 39% for every point their rating goes up on TripAdvisor (source: Cornell University)

Given equal pricing, guests are 3.9 times more likely to choose hotels with higher ratings than lower ratings. And even if the hotel with great reviews has higher pricing, travelers are still willing to book at that hotel  (source: PhocusWright, 2014)

77% of travelers usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews before selecting a hotel (source: PhocusWright)

When researching places to stay on TripAdvisor, 80% of respondents read at least 6-12 reviews before making their decision, and they're most interested in recent reviews that will give them the freshest feedback. (source: PhocusWright)

Hotels can increase prices 11.2% and still maintain the same occupancy rates by increasing their TripAdvisor ratings by one point. (source: "The Impact of Social Media on Lodging Performance," Cornell University Hospitality Research Center)


A whopping 94% of adult consumers surveyed said they are likely to base their restaurant choices on recommendations from a family member or friend. Furthermore, frequent restaurant customers said they are even more likely to base their dining out decisions on word-of-mouth recommendations. (source: National Restaurant Association)

Restaurants that boost their Yelp rating by one star can increase revenues by 5% to 9% (source: "Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of," Michale Luca, Harvard Business School, 2011)


The # 1 way that shoppers say they first heard about a new retailer is WOM. 45% of respondents said they first heard about the most recent new retailer they purchased from through a recommendation from friends or family. In line with these findings, 69% say they have chosen not to use a retailer based on negative feedback from family or friends. (source: “2019 Customer Lifecycle Report, The Retail Shopper’s Journey to Loyalty,” Yes Marketing)


79% of women say they buy products and services based on friends' recommendations (source: "The Power of Peer Influence," The Ladies Home Journal)

82% of women say they often share their opinion of products and services with others. (source: "The Power of Peer Influence," The Ladies Home Journal)

Peer recommendation remains the most-heavily weighted form of advertising among women, with 84% ranking it highest. Advertising on branded websites came in second at 69% and banner ads came in lowest at 42%. (source: "The Power of Peer Influence," The Ladies Home Journal)

As for what women sought advice about, 79% would ask a friend about food and beverage items, and 28% would buy or strongly consider buying something after talking to a friend. Trips and travel were second with 68% and third was home furnishing at 61%. Nineteen percent of those inquiring about home furnishings would buy or consider buying something immediately after chatting with a friend. (source: "The Power of Peer Influence," The Ladies Home Journal)

81% of female consumers say they frequently buy items they’ve seen shared on social media (source: Influence Central)

72% of women say the ability to check social-media recommendations takes the guesswork out of buying a new product, while 81% say product reviews influence the way they shop. (source: Influence Central)

86% of female adults agree with the following statement: “Social media content has become a chief source of online research when I’m thinking about making a purchase.” (source: Influence Central)


Millennials say recommendations from friends are the #1 most influential factor across all four product categories included in a survey: apparel, financial products, packaged goods, and big-ticket purchases (travel, electronics, etc.), surpassing paid media including ads, brand websites, and other sources of information (source: Radius Global Marketing Research)

Nearly 7 in 10 millennials say they were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend's post (source: Harris Interactive)

One in four millennials share online shopping content to their social networks; a rate of nearly four times that of the average user. They also share more content in general — twice as much as the average user. When they do share, this content generates 18 more clickbacks per link — 30 percent above average. (source: ShareThis)

Millennials are 3X more likely than Baby Boomers to turn to social channels for opinion on what products to buy. (source: Kelton Research)

93% of Millennial women without children have purchased a product after hearing about it from a family member of friend. That’s a reflection of the trust they put in those recommendations: 89% said they trust recommendations from a friend, peer or family member more than from a brand. (source: Millennial Central)

User-generated content (including reviews, stories, and other content created by Advocates) is 50% more trusted by millennials than brand-created content and other media. (source: Ipsos Social Media Millennial study)

84% of Millennials say UGC (reviews, stories, etc.) on company websites influence their purchases. (source: BazaarVoice)

ADVOCACY & word of mouth rule in b2b 

Peer recommendations are by far the #1 most trusted source for B2B buyers. Ninety-five percent of B2B buyers rely on recommendations from peers and colleagues when researching vendors and products. (source: "Selling to Information-Driven Businesses," IDC)

86% of B2B decision-makers rate recommendations from peers as the most influential factor in their purchase decisions. (source: Blanc & Otus and G2 Crowd.)

83% of B2B buyers say Word of Mouth is one of the top drivers of final selection of a vendor. (source: Blanc & Otus and G2 Crowd.)

Software purchasers in North America name “peers” as the top response when asked which information vehicles most influence their decision-making in the discover stage of buying. (source: Forrester)

75% of B2B buyers say they share information about vendors and products on social media channels like LinkedIn and other business-oriented peer networks (source: Blanc & Otus and G2 Crowd.)

57% of the purchase decision is complete before a B2B prospect contacts a supplier. (source: CEB)

67% of the B2B buyer’s journey is now done digitally. (source: SiriusDecisions)

Peer recommendations and reviews are very influential for B2B buyers – and becoming even more so. When asked how their purchase process has changed over the past year, 62% of B2B buyers said they rely more on peer recommendations. And B2B buyers rated customer reviews the most useful of three sources when evaluating solutions providers: reviews 55%; case studies 38% and analyst rankings 24%. (source: Demand Gen Report, “2016 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report.”)

A whopping 97% of IT professionals say they rely on peer recommendations and ratings/reviews during the buying cycle. (source: “How to Win Friends and Influence IT Pros,” Spiceworks, 2014)

91% of IT pro's trust peer recommendations vs. 57% trust information on a vendor's website  (source: “How to Win Friends and Influence IT Pros,” Spiceworks, 2014)

Peer recommendations are the most trusted and influential source for B2B decision-makers at each major stage of the purchase decision process: awareness, research, purchase. (source: Bredin)

At 55%, Word of Mouth is #1 information source used by business software decision makers in B2B and B2C SMBs worldwide. Other sources cited by decision makers included customer references (45%); media articles (43%); vendor-authored materials (38%); analyst reports (37%); salesperson (24%); and crowdsourced review sites (19%.) (source: Hubspot, Sept. 2016)

Word of Mouth/referrals are by far the #1 most effective B2B marketing channel for generating revenues. (source: "The State of Pipeline Marketing Report," Bizible, Nov. 2016 )

91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making their buying decision. [USM]

61% of IT buyers report that colleague recommendations are the most important factor when making a purchase decision. [B to B Magazine]

56% of B2B purchasers look to offline word-of-mouth as a source of information and advice, and this number jumps to 88% when online word-of-mouth sources are included. [BaseOne]


92% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews (source: BrightLocal, 2015)

90% of people say online reviews influence their purchase decisions (source: Dimensional Research, 2013)

88% of people trust online reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations (source: BrightLocal, 2014)

Online product reviews are the #1 way that all three age groups (Millennials 18-34; Gen Xers 35-54; and Baby Boomers 55+) research consumer goods products/brands before buying. Of the three age groups, Millennials at 69% relied most on online product reviews but Gen Xers and Baby Boomers also said online product reviews were the top way they researched brand/products before buying. (source: Salesforce Research, June 2016)

More reviews means more conversions, as people have more information and a broader range of user opinion to draw from as they decide on a purchase. Fifty or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates. (source: Reevoo)

By a 77% to 23% margin, consumer electronics buyers say they put more trust in consumer reviews than expert reviews (source: Weber Shandwick, 2014)

30% of consumers say they begin their purchase research by going to Amazon and reading reviews (source: The Harvard Business Review, "What Marketers Misunderstand about Online Reviews," 2014)

86% of consumers are willing to pay more for providers of home services such as plumbing, roofing, or interior decorating with positive online reviews (source: Software Advice, 2015)

70% of consumers give more credibility to consumer-created reviews and peer recommendations than professionally-written content (source: Reevo)

More reviews = increased sales. Going from 25 reviews to 50 bumps up conversion by 18%, which could equal thousands of extra sales. (source: Reevo)

78% consumers in the United States read reviews before making a purchase decision (source: YouGov)

87% consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust friends and family (source: YouGov)


92% of people will hesitate to do business with companies with less than four out of five stars (source: BrightLocal, 2014)

Four or more negative articles about your company or product appearing in Google search results is likely to cause you to lose 70% of potential customers (source: Moz, 2015) 

It only takes one to three negative reviews for most people to decide not to buy your product or service (source: Lightspeed Research)

22% of consumers will not buy after reading just one negative review. After three negative reviews, that number jumps to 59% (source: Google consumer study)

Four out of five consumers reverse their purchase decisions based on negative reviews (source: Cone)


Companies who put customer reviews on their website see a 65% average lift in revenue per visit and 52% lift in conversion on product pages. (source: eMarketer)

By putting customer reviews on your website, you can get an 18% lift in online sales: 11% conversion uplift, 5% increase in visitor return rate, and an average order uplift of 2%. (source: eConsultancy)

User reviews on your website result in a higher lift in familiarity, affinity, and purchase intent than expert content or branded content. Note: this study focused on products that sell for $399 and less. (source: Nielsen)

Consumers who read reviews on your website are 105% more likely to purchase your products than people who don't read reviews. (source: BazaarVoice)

63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. (source: Shopify)

93% of consumers say UGC is helpful when making purchase decisions (source: Olapic)


Companies can acquire customers for about 50% less via referral programs compared to traditional marketing programs. (sources: multiple)

People are about 4X more likely to purchase a product or service when referred by a friend. (source: Nielsen)

65% of all new business comes from referrals (source: The New York Times)

Referrals are the most effective form of lead generation for B2B marketers. Fifty percent of B2B marketers said referrals delivered the largest number of qualified leads for their company ahead of email (48%), live sales visits (46%), direct marketing (25%), and white paper downloads (20%). (source: Chief Marketer)

 Customer referrals can drive stunning profits. A study published in the Harvard Business Review showed that referred customers are 18% more loyal, 16% more profitable, and that companies earned 60% on referral rewards. (source: “Why Customer Referrals Can Drive Stunning Profits,” Harvard Business Review.)

Referral marketing is a proven customer acquisition tool. In a study, 27% of marketers said they get more than half of their new customers from referral marketing. (source: “Workhorses and Dark Horses, digital tactics for customer acquisition” Gigaom Research.)

Referral marketing provides multiple marketing benefits. In the same study, marketers cited four key benefits of referral marketing: acquisition (31%), conversion (31%), retention (26%), and awareness (23%). (source: “Workhorses and Dark Horses, digital tactics for customer acquisition” Gigaom Research.)

Referred-in customers are more loyal. Referred-in customers have a 37% higher retention rate than other customers. Depending on much customers pay for your products or services, and how long they typically stay, this means that referral programs can generate millions in dollars in revenues for your company. (source: Deloitte)

Referral marketing is one of the lowest-cost lead gen channels. B2B marketers rated “referral/advocate marketing” as the third lowest-cost lead gen tactic, behind only social media (not paid ads) and email marketing (house list.) (source: “Cost-per-Lead by Channel, according to B2B Marketers”, Software Advice.)

Referral marketing also delivers among the highest in quantity and quality leads. In the same study, B2B marketers rated referrals as “very high in quality and quantity” along with trade shows and events and email marketing (house list.)

Referrals convert at about a 3X higher rate than any other B2B marketing channel and 22X higher than email. B2B marketers said the average conversion rate (lead to opportunity) was 11% for referrals, followed by partner-generated leads (4.5%), inbound leads (3.8%) and paid marketing (about 3%.) The lowest-converting channel was email (.55%.) (Source: Marketo.)

Referrals are the lifeblood of B2B marketing. 84% of B2B decision makers start their buying process with a referral (source: LinkedIn)

86% of B2B companies with formalized referral programs experienced revenue growth over the last two years (source: Heinz Marketing survey of 600 business marketers)

The Value of User-Generated Content (UGC)

Ninety-three percent of consumers consider UGC to be helpful when making a purchasing decision. (Adweek)

Marketing campaigns containing UGC result in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns without it. (3dcart)

85% of users find UGC more influential than brand photos or videos (Adweek)


64% of marketers believe Word of Mouth marketing is more effective than traditional marketing (source: American Marketing Association)

59% of consumers like to tell others about new products. This means that more than half of your customers may be Advocates, i.e., willing to recommend your new products to others. (source: Nielsen Global New Product Survey)

You may have thousands of Advocates willing to refer others -- an untapped marketing weapon. 83% of satisfied customers say they're willing to refer your company to their peers. (source: Advisor Impact)

1,000 Advocates can generate up to 500,000 conversations about a brand (source: Lithium)