No matter how technologically advanced the advertising community gets, nothing will trump the recommendations and referrals people get from other people. Word of mouth is the ultimate weapon — a weapon that has never had to evolve. People will always gather in a group of friends, family, or colleagues and will share their experiences. That happened in the 1200s and continues to happen today.
However, the latest studies have shown that we can influence the control or amplification of those recommendations if we know if a man or woman is spreading the message, and how high of an opinion they have of themselves.
In the Journal of Consumer Research, a group of researchers are reporting on how word of mouth may differ amongst genders.
Turns out, there is a difference.
For the most part, at least. The common thread deals with pride; if either the man or woman has a high opinion of themselves, they will be much less likely to complain via word of mouth. The studies suggest that both genders would not want to be looked at as inferior consumers.
On the other hand, for those who have no high opinion, men are more likely to complain to anyone and everyone, and women are more likely to complain to close friends.
It terms of immediate spread of the word then, it would seem that men would be more apt to spread a negative message, while women are more apt to disrupt loyalty.
Which one really matters?
Easy; both takeaways matter.
Yes, in terms of bodies, the research suggests that men matter more. But since women tell their close friends, people who will generally trust each other, the store or brand in question is in serious trouble.
What say you? Does this sound accurate?
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.