Yesterday in this space, we learned that people who search for products and services online often do so after seeing a magazine or newspaper ad or after reading an article. The point, according to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (a division of the National Retail Federation), is that traditional advertising channels remain important even though consumers use the Internet to shop.
Now we learn that there is a third leg to this retail advertising stool. First, consumers see ads in magazines or newspapers that spark their interest. Then, these consumers go to their computers and search online for the item in the ad. Third, after searching online, these consumers spread the word:
68.9 percent say they are likely to communicate about their search via face-to-face conversation.
53.1 percent say they will discuss their search via e-mail.
50.9 percent and 30 percent, respectively, say they will talk about their findings over the telephone and cell phone.
Among young adults:
37.5 percent say they will send text messages about their search.
23.7 percent and 20.6 percent, respectively, say they will communicate about their search through online communities such as MySpace and Facebook.
Retailers must understand how customers interact across media in order to maximize their return on advertising investment, says Joe Pilotta of BIGresearch, which conducted the survey.