Corporate Eye

Brand Messages Affect Just 1 in 10 Purchase Decisions

laptop_web_searchA new study from Alterian (via eMarketer) reveals some statistics that are actually not all that surprising if you’ve been following my posts here on Corporate Eye for the last year or so.

According to the survey, only 1% of respondents (made up of Internet users from the United States and the United Kingdom) never compare products and services before making a purchase.  The results of the survey were as follows:

  • 51% always compare products and services before making a purchase
  • 44% sometimes compare products and services before making a purchase
  • 4% rarely compare products and services before making a purchase
  • 1% never compare products and services before making a purchase.

And of those people surveyed, 71% said they look for as many sources to find information as possible to ensure the information they find is accurate.

However, the above findings are not the most interesting from the Alterian study.  The far more interesting information comes from responses to who respondents are most likely to trust for advice when researching a product or service.  In answer to that question, only 13% said they trusted what a company says about itself or advertising or promotional features.  The results of the survey were as follows:

  • 40% trust friends and family
  • 28% trust professional reviews on Web sites, newspapers or magazines
  • 19% trust reviews from people “like you” on Web sites
  • 8% trust what the company says about itself
  • 5% trust advertising or promotional features

This is not the first time these type of research revealed similar findings.  Back in 2007, I remember writing a piece about research conducted at that time that showed consumers trusted advertisers and companies less than they trusted friends, family members, and even complete strangers who wrote about products and services online.

In other words, the findings from this survey are not new, but they certainly do add to the growing pile of evidence that supports shifting marketing budgetary investments away from traditional advertising and toward new media conversations.

What do you think?  Has your company made the budget shift to actually gain favor with consumers where their eyes, ears and trust are?

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

I agree with Susan.

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