Consumers have more sources of information than ever before. A recent, custom study by Nielsen asserts that our “ability to easily access information from a variety of sources has fundamentally changed the way consumers research products and, ultimately, make purchase decisions.”
But just how do consumers process the information they encounter? The study attempted to answer that question, using a controlled-lab approach (with a proctor) that insured the participants thoroughly reviewed all the information put before them.
For those who have rushed to assume that user reviews and branded content have become the primary influencers of consumer decisions, there was interesting news. Expert content performed best in all 3 areas of the purchase cycle — and that left no doubt about its continuing value.
This is rewarding news for PR practitioners who labor each day attempting to persuade journalists to provide favorable editorial coverage for their clients. The third-party endorsement value of earned media continues to play an important role in consumers’ decision-making.
You can read the report here.