McKinsey came out with the results of a study they did with 20,000 consumers across 5 industries and 3 countries. The most interesting finding for me was that during the phase when consumers are considering a purchase, or the “moment of truth,” two-thirds of the touch points were actually driven by the consumer rather than the seller. These touch points included product reviews (like Amazon), talking to friends and family (WOM), and in-store interactions (other customers).
As a different kind of marketer, I love this. It means that customers have the wisdom to trust others in their network or other customers more than companies that are selling the products. The idealist in me thinks this trend will lead to better products, better companies. From a Social Media standpoint, I think it means that brands need to have a clear Amazon Optimization Strategy (more to come), really leverage social networks to get their fans talking. So, give them something to talk about with a great product or great marketing.