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IAB Analysis: Digital Media Vital Influence on Consumer Electronics Purchases

Published on February 29, 2012

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released “The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases,” an in-depth analysis revealing that an interplay of media buys—including digital—is necessary to effectively influence people who are intending to purchase consumer electronics.

Examining consumers who said that they preferred to buy consumer electronics in “Discount Stores,” “Specialty Stores” or on the “Internet” showed that all three groups are influenced by a variety of media, over-indexing against the U.S. average on internet advertising and social media across the board. In fact, among the mass media, internet advertising is second only to broadcast television networks in influence, surpassing magazines, newspapers, direct mail and radio.

“Broadcast, cable, newspapers, and other media certainly play a role in influencing shoppers seeking consumer electronics, but the diversity of media it takes to truly reach buyers is eye-opening,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB. “A close look at the findings reveals that digital is a key part of the ad buy puzzle when it comes to selling electronics. Most consumers who are in the market for HDTVs, home audio set-ups and the like are clearly a tech savvy group, and that fact needs to be kept top-of-mind when trying to reach them as they consider their next major purchase.”

Additional findings include:

  • Coupons — With “Specialty Store” electronics shoppers leading the pack (69%), all three groups over-indexed on declaring email coupons to be a compelling retail motivator (“Internet” 68% vs. “Discount Store” 62% vs. U.S. population 60%). Web coupons were also cited as a strong driver among all three, headed by “Internet” electronics shoppers (65%), with the other two groups over-indexing as well (“Specialty Store” 61% vs. “Discount Store” 56% vs. U.S. population 53%).
  • Online Searching — Ad inserts are more likely to trigger an online search among “Specialty Store” (24%) and “Discount Store” (23%) electronics purchases, versus the general public (21%), and “Internet” buyers (19%). Newspaper is a much stronger search trigger for “Specialty Store” electronic shoppers (42%). After searching, all three over-index on being likely to communicate with others via social media (“Internet” 28% vs. “Discount Store” 25% vs. “Specialty Store” 24%) compared to the average U.S. consumer (21%).
  • Research Before Purchase — “Internet” electronics shoppers are much more likely to research products online before purchasing in a store, when compared to other shoppers (“Internet” 62% vs. “Specialty Store” 46% vs. “Discount Store” 36%).
  • QR Codes — “Internet” and “Discount Store” electronics purchasers are more inclined to have downloaded QR Code apps than their “Specialty Store” counterparts (“Internet” 55% vs. “Discount Store” 48% vs. “Specialty Store” 47%).

Report Signals Launch of IAB InsightCenter
“The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases” includes intelligence from the Media Behaviors & Influence Study from BIGinsight, a consumer behavior portal. The report is the first in a series of consumer research reports that IAB plans to produce in conjunction with BIGinsight. The report also signals the debut of the IAB InsightCenter, a free online service for publisher members to access additional research data via the IAB web site. The series will include findings from BIGinsight’s monthly Consumer Survey, an ongoing survey that summarizes results from 8,500 interviews conducted each month since 2001, and the Media Behaviors & Influence Study which polls some 25,000 respondents twice a year.

“This research will be invaluable to publishers and marketers alike seeking to better understand the specific media influences that drive consumer decision-making behaviors,” said Mane. “Easy-to-use, it is sure to be a boon for our members who are always looking to have the latest information at their fingertips.”

“This InsightCenter can help marketers visualize trends in consumer media behavior and influence,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, BIGinsight. “It goes beyond point-in-time reports and instead delivers actionable insights in a customizable, graphical format.”