Understanding how consumers research and engage brands

While many brands have a detailed understanding of their target consumers, it does not often include topics important to consumer care teams. For example - while knowing about media consumption habits is important for ad planning, it doesn't support decisions on what contact channels should be offered.

So in late 2017 Wilke Global, along with our partners at C3i Solutions, conducted some focused research on the preferences of US consumers.

Specifically we thought it would be useful to better understand both how consumers tend to research products and then how they would like to contact a brand when the need arises. These seemed like important points as we consider the choices facing the consumer care discipline.

What we found was surprising. A few of the most valuable conclusions included:

  • Fewer than 10% of consumers prefer to contact a brand or product manufacturer when they have questions.
  • Unsurprisingly the most preferred way to research products is via a search engine. However asking someone in a store is the second most preferred option - there is still room in the world for live human interaction!
  • When contacting a brand the phone is still the 'channel' of choice, but not by much. And consumer acceptance of 'newer' channels (ie SMS, social media etc) is higher than we expected.
  • Importantly - there are substantial differences in preferences by different consumer groups.

We will publish a full writeup of our study and findings in February - we think the findings will be very useful both to frame some of the choices consumer care teams face as well as inspiring other research.

In the meantime, we will be hosting a webinar sharing what we found and what we think it means for consumer care teams. If you find the topic interesting you can sign up below:

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Topics: Analytics and Insights, research, strategy, Innovation