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Building Trust With Empowered Consumers PDF Print E-mail
Written by eMarketer   
15 Jun 2010
Individual engagement for healthy brand relationships

The Internet and its increasingly social technologies have put more power into the hands of consumers. They can easily conduct their own product research, get advice and read reviews from peers, and broadcast their own complaints if they have a bad experience.

According to the “Your Brand: At Risk or Ready for Growth” report from marketing services company Alterian, these technological changes have led to skepticism and cynicism in consumers.

Rather than simply trusting experts or putting faith in brands, Internet users expect to do their own research and comparison shopping using many sources.

Nearly every respondent to Alterian’s survey did their own research and comparisons before a purchase at least sometimes, and 71% said they looked for as many information sources as possible to verify their findings.

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Friends and family were most likely to be trusted for advice, while advertisements and other messages from companies were taken with a grain of salt.

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A December 2009 study from marketing agency Jack Morton supports the picture of shoppers putting together online and offline information sources rather than accepting what they are told.

The top three sources that influenced purchase decisions for US Internet users were friends and family sought out for their opinion (53%), friends and family who offered their opinion (49%) and online research (49%).

Alterian advises marketers to recognize these empowered consumers as individuals. Traditional broadcast messages may not be as powerful, but Web users who feel in control of their own relationships with brands—through channels such as social media—could be more effective.

For example, while just 16% of respondents overall thought companies were “genuinely interested in them,” that proportion more than doubled among those involved in social media.

24 May 2010



 
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