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Monday, May 13th 2019
May 13, 2019
Spend your time wisely, your dollars even more so.
Over 90%of consumers use the internet to research products before buying. The average consumer spends six weeks researching a $200 product before purchasing. That's time spent looking for information about products to buy. That's an audience actively seeking a Brand's information. That's consumers looking to spend money.
The increase in time spent is two-fold.
1. The internet is awash of information. It takes countless hours to surf the sea of online content and then designate outlets worthy of providing advice vis a vis others. We all know that everything is paid for by someone at some point, it's just a matter of whose bias we are willing to consume in order to get a certain threshold of quality.
2. There are too many options, in every category. Decision paralysis is the new norm, not just Barrys Schwartz's paradox of choice in the cereal aisle.
This is a huge opportunity for Brands and the media to come together.
What I think we need is a modernized Consumer Reports. Something that is paid for by a non-profit and seeks to educate the public about products above all else. Consumer Reports reached its peak circulation in 2008. While it might be nice if the 83-year-old Consumer Reports revived itself for the consumer under 35 who has spent the majority of their adult life ‟just googling” their way to product reviews. I think it is time for a new voice to emerge and no, I'm not talking about wire-cutter (nice try New York Times).
In order to keep a non-bias approach to reviews, there can't be a sponsor or any paid-for products. Like Consumer Reports, the new service must buy all of the products it reviews at retail costs. That's a far cry from influencers being sent free products to rave about on Instagram or YouTube.
Maybe a crazy idea, but what if the all of the giant tech companies had to pay into a pool that would support the purchase of products for a non-biased video-based review channel that would stream free on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube. Maybe, instead of breaking up Amazon and Google, these giants donate funds to a non-profit service that helps the American consumer chart the seas of commerce. Let's give the consumer a place to tune-in to Brand messaging when they are looking for it. Imagine options like ‟browse by category,” see highest rated products based on proven tests and trials (not some over-inflated 5-star rating), or watch innovations in technology. While this might be idealistic dreaming, it does reinforce that as advertising professionals the best thing we can do is produce meaningful content which informs, enlightens, and educates the consumer.
We're all looking for it.