Monday, 11 December 2006

The Increasing Reach and Influence of Blogs

The direct link between user-generated content and people’s intentions to purchase a product or service is again demonstated in a Hotwire / Ipsos MORI European study . The research shows that more than 25 million adults in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have changed their minds about a company or its products after reading comments or reviews on a blog. Furthermore third (34%) of Europeans say they have not purchased a product after reading comments on the internet from customers or other private individuals.

Other key findings from the research include:
  • Blogs are now a near second to newspapers as the most trusted information source: A quarter (24%) of Europeans consider blogs a trusted source of information, still behind newspaper articles (30%), but ahead of television advertising (17%) and email marketing (14%).
  • High spenders are most trusting of blogs: Of those who spend more than 145€ (£100) online every month, the proportion of people who trust blogs rises to 30%.
  • France leads European blogging; Britain lags: Across Europe, six out of ten (61%) internet users have heard of blogging, and one in six (17%), have read a blog. France is the most blog-savvy country in Europe, with 90% of respondents familiar with blogs. The British are the least blog-aware, with only 50% having heard the term. In Germany, 55% have heard of blogs, 58% in Italy and 51% in Spain.
  • Blogs are now driving purchase decisions: More than half (52%) of Europeans polled said that they were more likely to purchase a product if they had read positive comments from private individuals on the internet.
  • They also block purchases: Nearly 40 million Europeans have not bought something after reading comments posted online.

Results based on research conducted by Ipsos MORI in Europe. The research polled a representative sample of 2,214 adults aged 15+, in Great Britain (526), France (440), Germany (485), Italy (378) and Spain (385), who use the internet either at home, at work or elsewhere. Interviews were conducted face-to-face at their homes during September 2006, using the Ipsos Capibus services.

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