Shoppers today are more influenced by product information they gather themselves online than advertising they see on television or elsewhere. That’s a significant trend identified in a recent study highlighted in the Wall Street Journal. This new type of shopper, called a New Info Shopper researches everything before making a purchase – from shampoo to cars and vacuum cleaners.
According to the study, 92% of the respondents said they trusted their own research on a product more than information provided by a sales clerk, and only 17% felt that a tv ad gave them information that would help them make a purchase decision. This should stop brand managers and advertisers in their tracks. If consumers are relying this heavily on getting their information online, advertisers should be offering as much information as possible about their products, and using advertising to let consumers know where it’s available.
Certainly there’s a place for brand advertising, but consumers believe the “information they find, not … the information that is spoon-fed to them, and the vast number of clicks today prove that they really are devoting time and energy to ferreting out detailed info before they buy.” A good example of this was an ad campaign for Dyson vacuum cleaner which took a technical approach in its ad campaign featuring James Dyson explaining how he had transformed the vacuum cleaner with new scientific principles. Consumers loved teh technical approach and sales took off.
The bottom line – consumers are making informed decisions about purchases based on information they get online. Ads that treat them as informed consumers and help them get the information they want become useful resources. Imagine an Internet radio campaign with audio that informs the consumer on useful information about a product, along with a url or banner that leads them to a website where they can get more. According to this new information, that’s what consumers want.