Who or What Influences Purchasing Decisions?

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More Data on the Changing Face of Marketing.

“Companies locked into historic marketing techniques and strategies are increasingly finding they are just talking to themselves.” - Bob Hutchins, BuzzPlant CEO

The latest research from BuzzPlant, a leading U.S. marketing firm focusing on the faith-based market, documents the continued displacement of conventional marketing strategies with those driven by the social networking revolution. “Companies locked into historic marketing techniques and strategies are increasingly finding they are just talking to themselves,” commented BuzzPlant CEO Bob Hutchins. “Our latest data makes that unmistakably obvious.”

The latest BuzzPlant study focuses on, “Who or What Influences Purchasing Decisions in 2010.” The arresting headline news for today’s business world might better be, “Who and What Does Not Influence Purchasing Decisions.” The study, released today, further documents the continued decline of market place effectiveness for conventional advertising and promotion while also pinpointing the accelerating redefinition of marketing being necessitated by the connectivity phenomena labeled, “social networking”. Marketing experts worldwide are scrambling to figure out how to adapt to what clearly is a new social order of doing business.

The biggest influence on purchasing decisions today, according to the study, are online reviews and the opinions of friends, the latter being significantly driven by the social network connectivity sites such as Facebook and Twitter. While the BuzzPlant study found that online friends and online reviews drove 85% of purchasing decisions, it reported that the meager remaining 15% was split between TV commercials, magazines and online ads.

According to Bob Hutchins, the judge is still out on the success of transferring historic advertising techniques to the social media format. While Facebook ads accounted for only 4% of “influenced purchases”, a third of those who use social media for feedback on purchases reported actually clicking on Facebook ads. Another finding of the study was that only 26% of the public has ever used Facebook or Twitter to obtain feedback on items being considered for purchase. Yet 29% of purchasers indicated online ads were how they found out about new products. So a clear picture of this important dimension is still evolving and the marketing ramifications are enormous.

How today’s customer learns about new products or entertainment was another eye-opening result of the BuzzPlant research. The results are sobering news for the marketing significance of in-store browsing. A paltry 16% selected “see it in stores” as the way they learn of new products in the market place. Even TV commercials were a surprisingly low 30%, while friends and online ads totaled 54%. And how do “friends” communicate with one another these days? Online. It’s the sign of the times and the wave of today that future marketing will have to utilize if it is to be successful.

Copies of this research are available at http://ow.ly/2IcJx. BuzzPlant is most popularly known for its online campaigns for such clients as The Chronicles of Narnia movie series and having developed contemporary marketing strategies for such clients as Sony, Zondervan Press, General Motors and 20th Century Fox. Owner Bob Hutchins summarizes the BuzzPlant mindset on marketing in a few words: “When it comes to marketing methods, people listen to other people more than traditional offline and online advertising.” The company conducts monthly surveys of the American public to gain a better understanding of trends and behaviors in the field and makes them available to the public.

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