The Internet has shot to the top of the list of media that influence luxury purchases, says a new survey from Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting and research company that specializes in the luxury market. 44% of luxury consumers named the Internet as very or somewhat important in influencing their purchases. Print articles and reviews came in second at 42%. Lagging far behind were newspaper ads at 31%, TV programs and commercials at 28% and magazine advertising at 24%.
“Marketers waste the power of the Internet and minimize the effectiveness of their web sites if they simply transfer traditional marketing communications from print or TV to the web,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. “We should start all marketing and branding communications on the web, using all the tools, facilities and capabilities of 21st century computer networks, then transfer that to traditional media as needed."
Danziger also stresses that luxury marketers’ web sites should be “the central hub of two-way communications with customers.”
“Luxury marketers, in particular, need to actively pursue a dialogue with consumers, inviting them to communicate with us, making sure someone with marketing authority responds in real-time to their incredibly valuable consumer input,” she says. "The challenge becomes connecting why consumers buy with how to reach them and where to reach them, while providing means and opportunity for them to connect back to the brand. The Internet is tailor-made to do this."
The survey of 866 consumers with incomes of $50,000 or more was conducted in conjunction with House & Garden magazine. It analyzes consumers` purchase behavior in 14 categories of luxury products and seven luxury services in the past year. It was conducted in August 2002 and results were released today.