Mum's the word when it comes to trust

Debbie Jackson, Head of New Business, Clarion Communications
TV programmes, online forums and newspaper editorials are just some of the places mums turn to for recommendations about products or services - but nothing beats a recommendation from a friend. And as a mum of two boys, Lucas and Henry, I know how true that is.

The Friend Recommendation finding is one of a number from the latest research with the Clarion Women’s Panel, our unique cross-section of females from all over the UK, which we use to give clients an instant insight into what women like (or dislike).

This time, we asked how mums hear about products and services - and the majority told us they ‘trust completely’ any recommendations received from friends and other people they know. Trusted ‘somewhat’ are consumer opinions posted online (named by 70%), emails they’ve signed up for (64%), TV shows where products or services are mentioned eg. BBC Breakfast (61%), radio shows ((58%), online comparison sites (57%), brand websites (55%) and editorial in newspapers (46%).

And from a traditional PR point of view it’s certainly interesting that editorial is still far more trusted than an ad. Personally speaking, when looking online for a great family recipe I often read consumer opinions posted by fellow mums and trust them more than an ad I may have seen.

Elsewhere, brand sponsorships, competitions in newspapers and magazines, TV ads, billboard ads, online banner ads and text ads on mobile phones were the LEAST trusted means of hearing about new products and services.

We also asked mums about the types of people who might recommend a product or service - and top of the list are family (79%), friends (67%) and other mums (64%). Trusted ‘somewhat’ are professional experts (70%), and people reviewing online (64%). I know that when my children were small (a few years ago now) whatever my health visitor suggested I was more than happy to try because I trusted her totally.

Lastly, when asked how mums recommend products or services, the most popular route was face-to-face (61%), followed by phone and email. Although I am finding that more and more of the mums I know are talking more via Facebook about great money saving deals, great family day out ideas and birthday party suggestions. We do not often have the chance to get together over coffee any more because the children are getting older and busier – so what better way to share recommendations than via Facebook when the kids have gone to bed.

Off to the school gate later and I can promise you that if one of the mums is talking about a great new ‘something’ I will be checking it out online later or nipping to the nearest store to see what all the excitement is about.


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