New data still shows that advice from friends is better

December 2, 2008 by George Eberstadt

Rubicon Consulting just published a great study about on-line influencers.  But the most striking thing about the study: for all the importance of user-generated online content, personal advice is still by far the most influential factor in purchasing decisions.  Here’s the chart of their data:

Influence of Various Sources of Information on Purchasing

In a nutshell, they showed: “Advice from friends is better than advice from strangers.”  For sure, companies should be thinking hard about how to influence the people that generate all that anonymous online content.  But the data shows that the biggest leverage still comes from activating the personal advice network.