The Consumer Barometer to providing Data-driven Internet Marketing
The Consumer Barometer, developed through a global effort by IAB Europe in partnership with TNS Infratest and Google is designed to help marketers quantify the role of Internet in the consumer journey from research to purchase.
To better understand the customer purchase journey, the Consumer Barometer provides insights into past purchase behaviors and a perspective on how consumers interact with the Internet as a source of information for informing purchase decisions. Data on how consumers access the Internet is overlayed with purchase behavior and segmented by country, with data for 39 countries included in the dataset and accessible through the Consumer Barometer interface.
Figure 1-1: The Consumer Barometer
Using the Consumer Barometer to Answer Fundamental Marketing Questions
The Consumer Barometer provides valuable data to its users to answer questions on how consumers research products online prior to purchasing.
- How do consumers research and purchase products and services?
- What is the role of search engines in the purchase process?
- How do consumers access the Internet?
- How do purchase behaviors compare between different countries (data from 39 countries available for comparison)
- How do purchase behaviors compare between 36 different products and services
- What % of conumers making online purchases versus purchases in brick and mortar stores?
- What % of consumer research products online, offline or both?
The following Consumer Barometer video demonstrates some ways it can help global businesses develop data-driven Internet marketing strategies.
Real World Examples
Let’s look at the number of people who purchase products in the US that use a search engines to perform research before purchasing products and services.
The results can be filtered by gender, age (below 40, 40 or above), education (low, high), Internet usage (low, high) to further segment the results.
If you think 28% using search engines to research purchases is high, then you will think again when you look at the same consumer behavior data for Turkey.
The number of consumers in Turkey is 68% of buyers who use search engines to perform research prior to purchasing. As you can imagine, the Internet marketing strategy and tactics being used in Turkey and the United States for a Global Business that sells to consumers in both markets will be different based on purchase behavior differences highlighted in the data. The value is having data to support marketing strategy and having the data drive that strategy.
If we want to look at the purchase behavior of US Consumers by Product/Service area, we see that 76% (more than 3 our of 4 US consumers) research leisure flights online prior to purchase.
I don’t know about you, but this jives with my personal experience when traveling frequently, often on short notice. Once you check-out the Consumer Barometer, you will see that the data analysis possibilities vast.
For example, check out the following report comparing purchase behavior of consumers who purchase leisure flights in Turkey vs. the US.
As you can see from the Data, in Turkey, 83% of consumers use search engines to research a leisure flight as compared to 44% in the US. From a data-driven marketing perspective, all things being equal, marketers of leisure flights purchased in Turkey are much more likely to rely on search engine marketing to influence buyers than those in the US. Both countries rely heavily on the Internet for sales (more than 4 out of 5 leisure flight tickets are purchased online in both countries). Internet marketers in Turkey, however, are likely to have an increased emphasis on search engine marketing over their peers in the US based on the data.
Another relevant data view that the marketer developing an online strategy might want to look at is Internet access and mobile device penetration in Turkey and in the US.
The interesting things to note is that broadband Internet access and mobile device (smartphone and tablet) penetration in the US is much higher than in Turkey. These data points could help prioritize the roll out of mobile websites in the US prior to Turkey since the proportion of mobile users relative to the target market is substantially higher in the US.
Online marketers can explore data of interest, create graphs and export the relevant data on www.consumerbarometer.com.
The Consumer Barometer Dataset
The Consumer Barometer uses data updated in 2012 on purchase and research behavior plus important metrics like smartphone, tablet and broadband penetration with a dataset including data survey data collected from participants from 39 countries. As you can imagine, this kind of data is invaluable to marketers both online and off.
The data available on www.consumerbarometer.com originates from two different sources:
- The Consumer Barometer study
- The Enumeration study.
The Enumeration study was conducted in the same 39 countries to ensure the Consumer Barometer results are representative of the online population in those countries.
Internet usage and device usage data coming from the Enumeration study was added to this website.
The following products/services where included in the Consumer Barometer questionnaire:
1. Personal appliances (e.g. hairdryer, electric shaver, electric toothbrush)
2. Domestic appliances (e.g. fridge, washing machine)
4. Clothing & accessories
8. Gifts, flowers, greetings
9. DIY, Tools, Garden Equipment
10. Home furnishings/furniture
11. Home and household goods (e.g. kitchenware, tableware, iron table, etc)
12. Sports gear and equipment (e.g. clothing, fitness machines, ski/snowboard, golf clubs,
camping and trekking)
13. Mobile phone subscription
14. Audio devices (Hi-fi, iPod, MP3 player, etc.)
15. Computer hardware (PC/Mac/laptop/Tablet)
16. Digital camera/camcorder
17. Visual devices (TV/Home Theatre/DVD player, etc.)
18. Computer software
19. Mobile phone (handset)
20. Computer peripherals (printer/scanner, etc.)
Master Questionnaire Consumer Barometer 2012 page 1
21. Health products
23. Cosmetics/beauty products
25. Car parts or accessories
26. Cinema tickets
27. Event tickets (e.g. concerts, theatre, sport)
28. Video games
29. Business travel (flights, hotels, car hire, etc.)
30. Hotels (for leisure, holidays)
31. Package holidays
32. Leisure flights
33. Personal Loans
34. Home insurance
35. Car insurance
36. Real estate (rent or buy house/flat)
Source: Consumer Barometer Survey used in study
Source: Enumeration Survey used in study
As a business marketing professional, insights into your customers purchase behavior is huge in shaping your online and offline marketing strategies. The consumer barometer is an excellent, free application and underlying dataset deigned to provide marketers with this information.
The consumer barometer enables marketers to develop strategies that are informed on the shopping behavior of their target market and develop marketing programs tailored to this purchase behavior.
As an Internet marketing agency, this kind of information is invaluable to our global clients to inform their online marketing strategies based on real data instead of “gut feel” which helps in providing confidence in our decisions.