At the verge of Fitbit’s new activity tracker launch last year, like most addicted to tech husbands, I needed a reason to validate — yet another gadget purchase — to my dear wife.

I had read the reviews. I had checked the beautifully crafted copy on Fitbit’s website and had even checked out the gorgeous marketing video. It was convincing but was it going to be another flop? I thought. Was it just a pedometer? Reviews were mixed. Is there anyone within my network using it? After all, I trust them more.

So, I asked on twitter for opinions and one of my beloved followers, Marc Benioff, personally recommended the Fitbit flex. He had been using it for a while. He also happens to be one of the most innovative executives in the world whose passion for wearables is unmatched in the industry.

A little while ago, Weber Shandwick and KRC conducted a survey involving around 2000 consumers that revealed that peer reviews and social recommendations have grown beyond just friends advising each other on the new purchases.

Some of the findings include:

  • 65% of consumers have bought a product they weren’t intending to buy after reading a positive review;
  • 74% of consumers search for reviews online before making a decision;
  • Consumers read an average 11 reviews before making a decision;
  • Peer reviews are trusted by more consumers (77%) than professional ones (23%)

How are you designing your marketing efforts around this?

So it is critical that in your content marketing efforts, you consider the impact of a word of mouth recommendation for your product or service. Not just what you are writing and sharing on the social web but also what your advocates are saying as well.

After all, it may be just that recommendation, an opinion, or even perhaps a comment from someone that matters that closes the deal.

For me — just like my wife said, I am still not as active as I should be but with a Fitbit, she can prove it. ;)

For a copy of the full Executive Report on the survey referenced above, please click here.