The web has become the starting point for affluent British consumers looking to make major purchase decisions such as financial investments or buying a car according to the 2009 Major Purchase Marketing Report from Dianomi, the contextual pay-per-lead advertising network.
The 2009 Major Purchase Marketing Report polled the views of 2,096 British consumers finding consumers are five times more likely to respond to contextual links on major media sites than those targeted according to behavioural technology, and that for high value purchases, integration of online and offline channels – such as following up a web enquiry with a physical brochure – is more likely to make one in two (51 per cent) consumers do business with your company.
Major purchase decisions start online
When looking to make a major purchase decision such as investment in a financial product (e.g. ISA, mortgage), buying a new car or booking a major holiday, 83 per cent of British consumers usually research companies online before deciding whether to do business with them. Half of these (42 per cent of all surveyed) claim to always start their research online, proving that the web has become the first port of call for consumers looking to make major purchases.
This is even more the case amongst affluent ABC1s where 90 per cent research companies online before deciding whether to do business with them on a major purchase compared with just 78 per cent of C2DEs. This habit is consistent between men and women, and most important for 87 per cent of those aged 25-44.
Contextual is the key to cut through
For all the hype surrounding behavioural targeting, when it comes to targeting affluent UK consumers looking for major purchases, contextual targeting has the potential to be five times as effective, the 2009 Major Purchase Marketing Report reveals. When looking to make a major purchase decision, the majority, one in four (25 per cent) of consumers said they would be more likely to respond to a contextual link. 42 per cent added that they would be more likely to click on a link or advert if it was contextually relevant to an article they were reading at the time on a major media site such as Telegraph.co.uk or Timesonline.co.uk.
This is even more the case among younger generations: 53 per cent of those aged 18-24 and 47 per cent of those aged 25-34.
Contextual links are five times more likely to have this positive impact than being targeted by behavioural technology (5 per cent) as consumers continue to be sceptical about privacy issues, and how effective targeting by these means is. Affluent ABC1 consumers are more likely to be influenced positively by contextual links (26 per cent), six times more likely than by behavioural targeting (4 per cent).
Julian Barkes, Head of Marketing, Dianomi comments, “For all that has been said about behavioural marketing and other clever online targeting technologies, simply having contextually relevant links and adverts in appropriate content on mainstream media sites has the potential to be five times as effective in generating a response. In tougher economic conditions it is also possible to get contextual links in articles on major media sites on a pay-per-lead basis, which is a very attractive proposition in light of the pressure currently being placed on marketing budgets.”
Integrating online with offline: the power of a brochure
Being able to request a brochure online dramatically increases the likeliness of a consumer eventually doing business with a particular company when looking to make a major purchase. According to the 2009 Major Purchase Marketing Report, 51 per cent of consumers said that being able to easily request a brochure be sent to them while surfing the Internet would make them more likely to do business with the company in question. This is even more the case with affluent ABC1 consumers (54 per cent) compared with 49 per cent of C2DEs. It is also slightly more the case with women (53 per cent) than men (48 per cent).
Compared to other marketing means, when British consumers are researching a major purchase decision online such as a financial investment, new car or luxury holiday, whether a company provides the opportunity to request a brochure be sent to them (11 per cent) is almost as important in their decision making process as how that company appears in Google search listings (14 per cent). This demonstrates how important a perception of trust and brand recognition is amongst consumers looking to make major purchases.
Julian Barkes, Head of Marketing, Dianomi comments, “While the majority of British consumers are now beginning their research process for major purchases online, they still require the reassurance of an offline, traditional media communication – such as a brochure being sent to them. Combining a brochure request capability with a contextual targeting approach not only has the potential to generate masses of highly qualified, relevant leads but if done on a pay-per-lead basis also represents a major, no-risk opportunity for financial services, automotive and travel brands. In the current economic climate, it is also an opportunity that marketers of high-value products or services cannot afford to miss.”
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