August 3, 2007, 12:00 AM

Marketers must keep up with multitasking consumers, BIGresearch says

Traditional media trigger many web searches, but so do newer channels like e-mail. And the online consumer is more likely than ever to be doing two things at once, according to a survey from BIGresearch.

Traditional media trigger many web searches, but so do newer channels like e-mail. And the online consumer is more likely than ever to be doing two things at once, according to the latest Simultaneous Media Survey from BIGresearch.

The survey of 15,439 consumers, the 10th in BIGresearch’s SIMM series, finds a broad mix of media that lead consumers to search the web. While magazines topped the list, mentioned by 51.6% of respondents, newer media like cable TV at 35.6% and e-mail advertising at 30.3% prompt many searches as well.

“The consumer continues to be a moving target and marketers who employ outdated media models will find it difficult to achieve increased ROI for their marketing dollars,” says Gary Drenik, president and CEO of BIGresearch, a consumer research firm.

According to the survey the top 10 media that triggered an online search among adults 18 and over were:

Magazine, 51.6%
Read an article, 47.7%
TV/broadcast, 44.2%
Newspaper, 41.3%
Cable TV, 35.6%
Face-to-face communication, 35.3%
Coupons, 33.8%
E-mail advertising, 30.3%
Direct mail, 29.3%
Radio, 28.2%

Word of mouth has the biggest influence on consumers’ decisions about buying electronics products, the survey suggests, but Internet advertising and e-mail also play a role. Here are the top 10 media influences on electronics purchases:

Word of mouth, 45.1%
Read article on product, 37.8%
Magazines, 29.0%
Newspaper inserts, 28.9%
In-store promotion, 28.8%
TV/broadcast, 28.6%
Internet advertising, 23.7%
E-mail advertising, 22.9%
Coupons, 22.6%
Cable, 20.9%

Further adding to the marketer’s challenge is the fact that more consumers are doing something else while online. Compared to the last SIMM survey in December, consumers said they were more likely to be watching TV; reading magazines, newspapers or mail; or engaging in another activity while online. For instance 40.9% said in this survey they watch TV while online, compared with 40.1% in December, and 26.6% said they read mail, versus 25.4% in the earlier survey. The only activity they were slightly less likely to be doing was listening to the radio, 23.0% in this survey versus 23.2% in December.

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