Last week at Spikes Asia in Singapore, Microsoft Advertising announced the results of a retail study that it had conducted in collaboration with Carat USA. The study looked at how the recession has changed shoppers’ purchasing habits and how different media touch-points impact consumer shopping behavior. Martin Cass, president of Carat USA, and I will be sharing more on the findings and the strategic insights for marketers across industries at Advertising Week today in “The New Shopper Journey” session at 10:00 a.m.
The bottom line? Digital has changed how people learn about, research and discuss their purchase decisions. The model of the purchase funnel—the traditional idea of moving a consumer from awareness with brand advertising to sales with direct advertising—are no longer always the case. It’s now more of a tumbler. People are getting information and being influenced from all different angles – most of those digital. Many may first learn about a product based on a tweet from a friend or a post on a social network. They go online to research the product, searching for the product, the store, reviews. They may see a brand ad and even make a purchase online.
We’re also learning that what happens after the purchase is just as important as what happens before, as people blog, tweet and post online reviews of a product, which may in turn influence their friends. The recession has compounded these behaviors – with belts tightening, people now research or turn to friends for recommendations before making purchases.
The change in consumer habits is astounding. Consider:
- 38% of U.S. shoppers have used their mobile devices to aid a decision to purchase a new product in-store.
- Of shoppers for home electronics, 11% of shoppers have blogged about the purchase of retail experience.
- Another 11% have posted a comment on a social networking site or posted a review online.
- Of these shoppers, 48% recommended the brand by name and 30% recommended the retailer by name.
As consumer purchasing habits change, so must digital marketing. It’s important that marketers reach consumers on every channel, ranging from online display and in-game to build brand awareness to mobile advertising that pushes an in-store purchase over the finish line.
Importantly, there is no single way to direct consumers toward purchase, which means that understanding the demographics and psychographics of a target consumer is more important than ever.
At Microsoft Advertising, we’re driven to do just that. We partner with advertisers to help them reach a variety of audiences by engaging with consumers anywhere, anytime and on virtually any device.
Corporate Vice President, Global Ad Sales and Strategy, Microsoft