If your business is thinking of competing in the collaborative economy, then it's important that you know how people discover the apps and sharing services they use in this emergent market.
In our latest report, Sharing is the New Buying: How to Win in the Collaborative Economy, we revealed that word of mouth is a significant driver in how people find sharing sites. In partnership with Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies, we used our insight community technology to talk with 90,112 people about their participation in the collaborative economy, and found that 47% of sharers found their most recently used sharing site via word of mouth.
For marketers, in particular, it is important to understand the enormous role of word of mouth, both online and personal, in driving people to use sharing services. It's notable that 63% of sharers said they found the site they used for their most recent sharing transaction via personal recommendations (47%), social networks (13%), or blogs (3%).
Word of mouth is made even more powerful by the fact that 91% of sharers indicated that they'd recommend the last sharing service that they used to a friend or colleague. The result is a virtuous circle where recommendations drive further word of mouth about sharing services.
Traditional marketing can provide traction for sharing services, too. Sharers indicated they have found services and apps through search engines, news media, online ads and email.
If your brand already knows how to drive sales using word-of-mouth recommendations, you're on the right path to thrive in the collaborative economy. But you also have to tread carefully since what motivates one person to recommend a service may be entirely different from why another person might take the same action. Talking to your customers and understanding their participation in the sharing economy will help your marketing team craft strategies that maximize the use of word of mouth in the collaborative economy.