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Data on Why 'Get Found Online' Matters in Marketing: ZMOT, Pew, GE Capital

Posted by Christine B. Whittemore on Oct 16, 2012 9:45:00 AM

This is a 4 minute read.


I love data! Not just Star Trek Data, but also numbers data that provides marketing perspective on how people navigate online during their purchase process.

The latest data I've found comes from ZMOT, Pew and GE Capital. All three sources confirm how important getting found online is.

GE Capital Data on Why 'Get Found Online' Matters in Marketing

This GE Capital data was fascinating! It looked at the overall purchase process timeline. More specfically, GE Capital Retail Finance’s Annual Major Purchase Shopper Study Reveals Decision Process for Major Purchases – 61% Start Online. Not only do shoppers conduct comprehensive research, but they carefully consider payment options. Furthermore,

"Consumers spend an average of 76 days in the research process when considering a major purchase...

 The results provide a clearer picture of the process consumers go through when considering a major purchase. Depending on the category, the length of time spent researching the purchase took between 38 and 115 days – more than two months on average. While the data represents the average major purchase experience, it is inclusive of shoppers who had a short decision cycle due to an urgent need to replace an item.* The study also reveals the way in which consumers conducted product research and the role of payment options in their decision.

Among the findings:

  • More than 60 percent of consumers begin product research online, but 89 percent made their purchase at a brick-and-mortar store.
  • Consumers, on average, visited two-to-three unique online retailers and two-to-three unique brick-and-mortar stores before making their purchase.
Are you surprised by the length of time spent researching?
What about how in-store and online work in tandem?

Pew Data on Why 'Get Found Online' Matters in Marketing

I see plenty of data about how young people are online. That's great. What's more fascinating, though, is understanding how technology usage is trickling beyond young people. That's what Pew's Older adults and internet use does. Here are the highlights that caught my attention:

  • As of April 2012, 53% of American adults ages 65 and older use the internet or email. 
    • 82% of all American adults ages 18+ say they use the internet or email at least occasionally; 67% do so on a typical day.
  • 69% of adults ages 65+ report having a mobile phone, up from 57% in May 2010 
    • 88% of all adults own a cell phone, including 95% of those aged 18-29.
  • As of February 2012, one third (34%) of internet users ages 65+ used social networking sites such as Facebook; 18% do so on a typical day. 
    • Among all adult internet users, 66% use social networking sites (including 86% of those ages 18-29), with 48% of adult internet users making use of these sites on a typical day.
  • Email use continues to be the bedrock of online communications for seniors. As of August 2011, 86% of internet users ages 65+use email, with 48% doing so on a typical day. 
    • Among all adult internet users, 91% use email, with 59% doing so on a typical day.

The Pew data confirms that Internet usage is no longer something fringe groups do. A significant majority of the population regularly uses the Internet and email to get things done - including to purchase products and services.

ZMOT Data on Why 'Get Found Online' Matters in Marketing 

I'm truly partial to ZMOT (see Inbound Marketing and ZMOT: Perfect Together? and Why ZMOT is Relevant for B2B Marketing: 4 Data-Based Reasons) and am delighted to see conversation and research about the zero moment of truth continue with the Think with Google site which I learned about because of Google ZMOT: Marketing Purchase Path Becomes 'Flight Map'.

From that article, the following caught my attention:

Marketers need to discard traditional concepts of the marketing funnel and assume that consumers switch devices as needed to read reviews and ratings, and research prices before searching again. To make matters more complex, on 53% of conversion paths, the last click typically belongs to a generic keyword -- which means brands that do not show up in search engine results for generic keyword searches miss out on new customers, according to Todd Pollak, head of retail at Google.

Furthermore, "... 46% of consumers research the product on their smartphone and then go to a store to make a purchase,..." Consider the implications if your business can't be found online!

What these three resources highlight is how critical it is for a business to get found online. Do you agree? 

Let me know!

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Topics: Digital Marketing, SEO & Search Tips

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