Monday, July 20, 2015

Influencing Influentials: Understanding Today's Influential Consumers and How to Put Them to Work for You

By: Gina Joseph, Communications Manager, inContext Solutions

It would be hard to find anyone who hasn’t used, much less heard of, Groupon. The company has become a household name, and not simply because of its vast daily deals. As Eric Rasmussen, VP of market research at Groupon, put it: “It’s the first website people go to when they are looking for an experience.”

That experience factor, paired with its huge fan base of influential, makes it the perfect case study for the impact of word of mouth and the marketplace.

In their OmniShopper 2015 Conference track session, Rasmussen and GfK VP of Consumer Trends Jon Berry, shared their insights into the role of influence when it comes to purchase decisions. With big data research from GfK, Groupon started to understand the dynamics of what influenced these influential advocates.

In the digital age, influence is more important than ever

We live in a word-of-mouth world. Twenty-six percent of purchases are induced by social media, and influencers have twice the social media reach. What’s more, these influential aren’t purchasing and advocating simply because of the deals they are getting; the deal was simply the motivator. The experience was what these advocates were seeking out and sharing with their networks. The key, Rasmussen said, was to make sure your company is offering the kind of experience that advocates will want to try and share with others.

Influence is increasingly happening at the point of experience (PoE)

Sharing happens in the moment. And influence is getting even quicker. In fact, 81 percent of influential are sharing via social media, a much higher rate than non-influential. What’s more, it’s now mobile, with influential using smartphones or tablets while shopping and advocating.

What’s your discoverable moment?

Finally, it’s important for companies and brands to find their own “discoverable moment.” How can you create an experience that will make advocates want to share, and then position it in a way that makes it easy for them to do so? “It’s not the technology that makes people influencers,” Rasmussen said. “It’s in their DNA.” Find those people and give them a reason to act.  

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