Brands Should “Reconsider Influencer Ad Budget As This May Not Be Hitting The Mark” : Research Shows Trusted Reviews Are The Top Driver Of Uptake Of New Products With Parents


  • Parents are passionate about sharing good experiences with products or services
  • Reviews matter more to parents than influencers for trying out products/services
  • 58% of parents said they were “definitely influenced” by online reviews before choosing products or services


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


* Survey run on December 2021 with 496 responses


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 prefer to make the recommendation in person.


“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 most parents will recommend products and services they like, with 61% of parents saying they love telling their close network about things they like and 36% saying they sometimes tell people about products or services if they 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 of 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.”


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, views are mixed, with just over 1 in 5 parents (22%) saying they like seeing them review products/services, and 38% saying 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.”


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 research (Sep’ 2021) where 61% of parents said they were influenced by reading reviews or testimonials. 


“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?


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.

Jill Holtz, co-founder of ParentsandBrands, said “These insights follow on from previous insights we gathered when asking parents about their thoughts on advertising. When it comes to influence, there’s an opportunity for brands to really help this segment by understanding more about what parents need and want, to tap into their influence in their network and to ultimately help them make good decisions for their family.”