Consumers Choose Differently by Vertical

WebVisible conducted a Q1 survey of 4,000 consumers. The information I received focused on the relative value of information used to support buying decisions. The survey looked at a number of variables in four local verticals: legal, auto repair, healthcare and home services.

The content categories included: “details about credentials, special offers and discounts, a video of the service provider, a video customer testimonial, a non-video customer testimonial, personal referrals and recommendations, information about available products, services and prices, and expecting the service provider to show up in a variety of online directory listings.” Survey respondents were asked to select all categories of information that would be used in their decision-making.

The not-surprising conclusion is that consumers generally want more information, not less. There were differences in the relative emphasis on the variables by gender and business category. However those differences would be very challenging for most directory publishers or local search engine to “productize” or manage. In an advertising context you might show different variables to different users based on age, income, category and gender.

However the lesson here for most publishers and advertisers is put as much relevant information on profiles and websites as possible. Here’s a graphic showing the top three answers by category (click to expand):

For example, discounts  and special offers comes in at number two in the auto repair category but doesn’t show up in healthcare or legal. That’s to be expected given the fact that you’re looking for the most qualified professional in a healthcare context, while many people could fix your car or change its oil. However dental cleanings and check-ups have been quite popular and pervasive on the daily deal circuit.

Two other findings: video mattered to all age groups; and all income groups liked discounts generally speaking (those under 44 were more interested in deals).

    As mentioned there are some interesting nuances here. But it’s very hard to know what to do with that information as a publisher except to get more data/content on the page: reviews, credentials/experience, prices and products and deals in some cases.

    Deals/discounts is the real “actionable” variable here in terms of when it might trigger buying behavior vs. when it would not.

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    5 Responses to “Consumers Choose Differently by Vertical”

    1. earlpearl says at

      Very interesting information.  Thanks.  Is it public?

    2. Greg Sterling says at

      I have a bit more but this is the thrust of it. Did you have a specific question?

    3. earlpearl says at

      If that is the gist of the findings that is fine. I found the basic survey information helpful from the perspective of the website owner/ business owner. Those descriptions are a guideline of what to put in one’s business website.

    4. Greg says at

      Yes . . . you want to have more rather than less information. If you were a member of a particular category these results would be instructive. But it’s harder for a publisher to act on them. 

    5. David Logsdon says at

      More information is definitely important. The axiom ‘Content is King’ continues to rule the advertising universe. While more content is good, smart content is better. Most businesses will benefit by following the R.A.S.C.I.L. guidelines. Your ad/web content should convey a compelling message that your business is Reliable, (A)ffordable & (S)ecure. You should (C)all consumers to take action soon or now. Your (I)mages should convey benefit to the consumer and elicit an emotional response. Your (L)ocation should be clear if you are location based, or the markets you serve if you are service based. Understanding these basic rules goes a long way toward building effective marketing. Knowing the finer nuances of presenting a compelling message in up to date consumer language will drastically improve your conversion ratio. Finally, delivering your message to the media platforms frequented by your target audience in an attention getting format completes the circle.

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