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Online consumers force marketers to rethink the traditional marketing mix

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‘Place’ and ‘promotion’ have dropped out of the classic marketing 4Ps – place, promotion, price and product – in favour of online reviews and offers and marketers need to take note, a survey finds.

According to an online YouGov poll of over 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by Adobe, online purchasing decisions are now most influenced by price (32 per cent), product quality (17 per cent), online reviews (15 per cent) and offers (10 per cent).

While price and product remain key for sales; the survey shows that the proliferation of digital channels means that traditional marketing models based around the 4Ps need to be reconsidered.

Online shopping makes place less important for consumers who can buy things whenever they want and from wherever they choose. Plus the sheer scale of choice and channels for promotion means that shoppers are savvier than ever when it comes to research and taking advantage of offers.

“Front of mind for every marketer is how to provide customers with the best experience possible and this new digital landscape is driving marketers to reimagine some of the classic marketing tactics in order to do this. While product and price will always remain priorities for any shoppers, the internet has seen a subtle power shift towards the consumer. More shoppers are relying on online communities and reviews to aid their purchasing decisions so brands need to harness the power of word of mouth online and give their customers the opportunity to share their feedback. From the business perspective, reviews are also extremely valuable in terms of helping marketers improve their products and ultimately, the customer experience,” says John Watton, Director Digital Marketing EMEA at Adobe Systems.

While these top four purchasing influencers remain for all demographics, they rank differently for certain groups. 25-34 year olds online put quality of product at fourth most important (12%) as opposed to over a fifth (22%) of 35-44 year olds who rated it second most important. Online reviews were the second most important influencing factor for the 18-24 (15%), 25-34 (14%) and joint second place for 45-54 year old groups (15%). For the 55+ audience, the deliveries and returns process made it into their top four purchasing influencers, edging out offers.

Watton continues: “Consumers have become savvier, they want, and have the ability, to get the best offers, products and price wherever they go, not just on one channel or in one store. This puts the pressure on brands to ensure customer experience is optimised for every channel, 24-7 and with the UK spending £104bn online in 2014[1], this is critical for businesses. For marketers, the online world has made brand loyalty a challenge so it’s important they listen to their customers and target them with relevant and compelling content and offers to keep them coming back.”

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