Influencers Out-Influenced for Parents by Product Reviews and Recommendations

parents and influence

New insights* from parents on the topic of influence has just been released that shows that trusted reviews are the number one driver of uptake of new products with parents. We asked parents to share their views on recommendations, word of mouth, role of “influencers” and online reviews on choosing products and services to buy for themselves and their families.

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What Parents Say Influences Them to Try Products and Services

Parents gave their thoughts and feedback on when and how they share recommendations to family and friends, when they take action on recommendations they receive, if they have ever bought products shown on influencer ads and what they think of influencers, if they review products online and what influences them to try new products and services.

When it comes to influence and parents, the biggest surprise to come out of the survey is just how likely parents are to recommend products and services to their network of family and friends and that they really prefer to make the recommendation in person. Parents really are passionate about sharing good, and bad, experiences of products or services.

“I would be more inclined to go for a product recommended by a family member or friend, or failing that other people. Having opportunities to try goods or services are a good draw.”

Parents Recommending to Their Network

The survey showed that the majority of parents will recommend products and services they like, with 61% of parents saying they love telling their close network about things I like and 36% saying they sometimes tell people about products or services if I really like them.

91% of parents said that they preferred to recommend in person with just over two thirds (68%) sharing via text or messaging such as Whatsapp. Social media and online through either the product website or ratings websites are also used by parents to tell others about their experience.

Over half the parents (56%) said they had recommended something within the last month, a further 41% said they had recommended something this year.

“I recommended a lovely hotel stay that I had in the past few weeks. Another friend booked the hotel break soon after I praised my great hotel stay.”

Recommended reading: Bite-Sized Insights: Family Hotel Stays

Parents and Recommendations from Others

When it comes to listening to recommendations from others, half of parents (51%) said they had had a recommendation from someone they trust last week, 35% in the last month.

Just under half (46%) said they would check out recommendations from family and friends straight away with 43% saying they would make a note of it and go look for it in store or online.

“On receipt of a recommendation I usually do further checks e.g. reviews and other people’s opinions.”

Parents and Influencer Advertising

When asked about Influencers advertising products, it seems views are mixed with just over 1 in 5 parents (22%) saying they like seeing them review products/services, but trust as the influencer is being paid was raised as an issue by 28% of parents, 38% said they are not influenced or don’t really care about influencers.

Of those who did say they had purchased a product from seeing it advertised by an influencer, many parents said they had to trust the influencer first before thinking about buying something they recommended.

This ties in with previous research carried out by ParentsandBrands (Sep ‘21) that showed that influencer sponsored posts came 11th on a ranking of types of ads that would encourage parents to go find out more or even seek the product in store.

“I am sceptical of those that only seem to post ads and affiliate posts. I am much more likely to put value on a post from someone who isn’t always pushing a sale.”

Quote about Influence

Parents and Online Reviews

When it comes to online reviews 58% of parents said they were definitely influenced by online reviews before choosing products or services with 13% saying sometimes they were.

Again this tallies with previous insights we gathered in September 2021 where 61% of parents said they were influenced by reading reviews or testimonials.

When asked if they ever reviewed products or services online, one quarter of parents said it depended if they were happy or unhappy but they would review, 17% said they would always review and 21% said they would only review if they liked the product or service.

“I always review items because I have been shopping online for the last 15 years. So I know how important reviews are for other buyers.”

“I always read the negative reviews to see if it is a consistent negative thing that makes the product faulty or is it just people’s views on the item that’s nit picking.”

What does this mean for brands?

  • If you are spending on influencer advertising, it might be time for a rethink. Reconsider influencer ad budget as this may not be hitting the mark in terms of activating parents.
  • Ensure you make it as easy as possible for people to review your products or services online and that you have tested the user experience of submitting a review. Check your internal processes to see what actions need to be taken upon both bad and good reviews, the latter could become testimonials for your marketing.
  • Think about how you can activate parents to recommend you to family and friends. Could you offer a discount code they could share via word of mouth or on their social networks? Or reward them when a purchase is made by tracking sales of certain items?
  • Sponsored content combined with honest reviews can build brand trust with parents. Reviews and testimonials should be forming a core part of your marketing and comms.
  • Ultimately word of mouth marketing is the best form of marketing, so understanding how to tap into how parents recommend to each other and to their network is key. We can help!

Media coverage of these insights

“Trusted Reviews are the Top Driver of Uptake of New Products with Parents”, Marketing Institute Ireland.

Hungry for more insights like these?

If you’ve found this article useful, download our free insights report to see what else parents are saying about influence.

Find out how to attract parents to your brand

Looking for ways to connect your brand or product with parents? Contact us directly to find out how ParentsandBrands can help you with valuable in-depth parent-specific insights concentrated on your business.

* Survey run on December 2021 with 496 responses

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