According to the latest issue of PR Influences, the ever-increasing number of product alternatives in the market call for diversified communication for more effective marketing.
The article, “Marketing: Communication is key for reaching confused consumers,” points out that consumers today are confused by the sheer magnitude of choices in product alternatives. A US study by Forrester Custom Research and Brodeur showed that half of the consumers who rated themselves as “extremely confused” delayed their purchase of a new technology product by more than a year. A fourth of this group eventually bought the product, though, despite their continuing confusion.
To make an informed buying decision, consumers look for more product information. According to the same study, advertising has become a minor source of information while articles in newspapers and magazines, as well as internet portals, are more heavily favored.
Another study, the 2005 Edelman Trust Barometer – a survey across eight countries – showed that around 90 percent of people believe information from articles or news stories more than advertising; and more than 80 percent do not believe information unless they receive it from multiple sources.
This brings us to another article in the same issue of PR Influences: “New Media: Importance of blogs for marketers and communicators.”
If the internet comes second to articles in newspapers and magazines as a trusted source of information for consumers, then it is important to consider the current star of the net – the blog.
PR Influences says that while there is a lot of distrust toward traditional media, blogs are often seen as more credible sources of information because “they don’t hide their bias and the site visitor feels that it is up to them to make the choice as to accept what is said or not.” Bloggers are considered important advocates, opinion formers and influencers that marketers and communicators should not ignore.
And so the list of priorities should go thus: newspaper and magazine articles first, internet portals and blogs second, and then advertising. It’s a new dynamic which marketers and communicators should maximize until a newer permutation comes along.