Mobile, search strategies are a must: Fleishman survey

Nearly two-thirds of consumers use their smartphones to gain information on a brand, product, or destination at least three times a week, according to Fleishman-Hillard's third annual Digital Influencer Index Study.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers use their smartphones to gain information on a brand, product, or destination at least three times a week, according to Fleishman-Hillard's third annual Digital Influencer Index Study, conducted with Harris Interactive. The report demonstrates the need for brands to provide an easily accessible mobile platform for on-the-go consumers.

Additionally, 90% of those surveyed said they use search engines when seeking product or brand information, making search the No. 1 source for curious consumers and demonstrating the importance of a strong search engine optimization strategy.

Sixty-seven percent of US respondents use product and brand pages to inform their purchasing decisions, making it the No. 2 choice after search engines and illustrating the value of clear and informative brand and product websites.

Sixty-one percent of international respondents consider the Internet a primary source of information when looking to make a smart, informed purchase — more so than advice from friends and family — indicating a shift in trust from personal communities to social ones. In fact, 79% of consumers “like” a brand to learn more about it, and 76% claim they are looking for specials and discounts, giving brands insight into what content to provide on social media platforms such as Facebook.

When consumers go online to compare options for purchase, the top two categories searched are electronics and healthcare, with 93% and 80% of global respondents, respectively, indicating that the Internet assisted them.

Two-thirds of respondents said they are familiar with online destinations such as Groupon and LivingSocial, with 60% having accounts on those sites. Additional data indicates participation in these portals will continue to rise.

The survey expanded this year to include Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, and the US. The populations of these countries represent 60% of the world's GDP.

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