Research Finds Shifts in Trusted Information Sources

Research Finds Shifts in Trusted Information Sources

Research conducted for a New York-area client not surprisingly showed a continuing shift in trusted sources of product information among business managers charged with making purchasing decisions for high-end specialty products.

More than 300 business people across North America reported that the importance of print information – either as paid advertising, magazine and newsletter articles and traditional mar-com promotional material – has declined as a primary factor in the purchase decision-making process. While this bastion of traditional marketing remains a key tool in building product familiarity, they said, other factors increasingly rank higher as reasons to make a specific product choice.

So what is more important? First and foremost, peer recommendations and peer purchase habits. Second, personal contact from someone who really understands both the product and my situation.

As one respondent commented, I’m not buying lipstick here. I’m spending thousands of dollars for a piece of equipment that is mission-critical. So when I see people I know and respect buying a particular product, I’m going to give that a whole lot more weight than some slick ad copy. When a person actually shows me how it can help me, that tells me a lot more than a newsletter article.

Survey results came as no big surprise to the client, a manufacturer and marketer of precision scientific devices. We still must get the word out about our products through the traditional marketing tools, the client’s chief marketing officer observed. But that just sets the table for us. Our customers want first and foremost to feel good about the purchase decision – to see some evidence that they have made the right choice. That’s why we’re shifting a larger percentage of our marketing budget to direct contact efforts.

Additional non-proprietary details and analysis of the research findings are available by contacting me at

This entry was posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 10:17 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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