BIGresearch says: Life Events Impact Purchase Behaviors… Sure, but where is the Business Directory?

big_research_logo.jpgBigResearch, a Columbus, Ohio research firm, just released the results of a survey around the Top Planned Purchases for consumers going through 5 major life events. They are:

Children starting college: Vacation, Computer, Furniture, Home Improvement,Car/Truck

Expecting a baby: Furniture, Vacation, Computer, Car/Truck, TV

Getting married: Furniture, Vacation, Computer, TV, Home Appliances

Getting divorced/separated: Vacation, Furniture, Computer, TV, Digital Camera

Retiring: Vacation, Computer, Furniture, Home Improvement, Home Appliances

They also looked at what are the top media influences for Consumers Getting Married or Children Starting College. For example, if you’re getting married and you want to do home improvements, the research says that your top media will be: word-of-mouth, TV/Broadcast, newspapers, read article and magazines. They cover five other examples like that. Word of mouth comes out on top in the 6 examples. Internet advertising, newspaper inserts and cable appear as potential sources also but nowhere do people mention the good old and reliable business directory(!)

What it means: knowing how strong directories are when a life event happens (Dennis Fromholzer has done many research around the subject), I’m truly surprised not to see them appear ANYWHERE! It’s almost as if the questionnaire did not take it into account. I’d be love to get the perspective from Dennis at CRM Associates, Peter from Krasilovsky Consulting, or my friends at the Kelsey Group. What’s not surprising is the strength of word-of-mouth and this is where it becomes interesting to try to capture word-of-mouth online through social tools. As an aside, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has been doing interesting work around that topic.

Harry says: I agree, it probably wasn’t an option on the questionnaire. The WOM finding is an interesting one, should we assume that WOM is more important now because of the internet? Do informal social nets, ie., simple email blasts “does anyone know a good plumber?” get factored into the WOM equation? WOM is in its infancy, but well worth watching…

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