New research by a Harris Poll should give businesses with a small to nonexistent ad budget a sense of relief.  The poll found that offline word of mouth is actually more influential on consumers’ purchases than getting positive comments via a social-media site.

The Harris Poll asked adults how they gathered information for their most recent purchases.  When they were asked to identify the methods they took to get to their decision, 21% said their information was based off of a face-to-face meeting with a person not associated with the brand, while another 12% cited they got their information from a phone call with a friend.  Only 4% said they got their information from a public online social network site.

Overall, people are much more likely to act on the positive mention of a brand than to hold bad word-of-mouth against a company.  To read more results from the study, go to: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/direct/e3ie61159b311bfa18e3d9ed35f8f1b6463

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