Our study shows that advertising in traditional media (TV and press) is losing ground to digital. This trend is even more pronounced in the US. Moreover, digital is becoming more and more important in the purchase process and in consumer decision-making.
The implications for brands are major. They must move from a top-down mode of communication in which they “push” their products and services to passive consumers, to a more interactive model, in which the consumer is a stakeholder in the brand’s life and reputation.
As digital gains a foothold throughout the purchase process, including point of sale, competition between different channels will gradually give way to complementarity between physical and digital channels. Today, brands need to be present across all channels, targeting excellence in each.
Brands also need to revise their price strategies and demonstrate their real added value in a world where access to information is made much easier by technology. Competition is becoming more fluid, and the distance between established brands and new market entrants is becoming smaller. This should enable innovations to be brought to the market more easily.
Across all markets studied, recommendations by friends and experts play a deciding role in purchase decisions. These recommendations were traditionally by word of mouth – one of the oldest communications channels! Digital is becoming a part of this process, and continues to extend its influence.
White paper #1, 2014 – February 2014