A study released this week offered some valuable insight into how television, the Internet and other media impact the buying decisions of consumers -- including potential mortgage borrowers. It also suggests the role of the salesperson may be diminishing.
In its second annual Touchpoints Survey, DoubleClick Inc. said it asked 2,000 consumers about their purchases in the last six months. Ten categories of purchases -- including Mortgages/Investments -- were analyzed. The study reportedly examined different channels used to reach consumers, and analyzed their influence (across the categories) at different stages of the purchase process.
The survey participants were evenly split between males and females, according to the online ad management company.
At issue was the sequence of how consumers first learn about products, how they further learn about them and which factor most influenced their purchase decision.
The purchase process was broken into three phases:
- First Learn (awareness)
- Further Learn (research/information gathering)
- Purchase Decision (most influence)
Internet ads are the dominant media used in the "First Learn or Awareness" phase of the mortgage purchase process.
"The Touchpoints survey results show that different product categories require tailored marketing tactics," said company executive Doug Knopper. "While TV still impacts awareness, the influence of interactive marketing -- including advertising, search, and email -- is chipping away that share."
DoubleClick, which operates around the world, said online resources are having a dramatic impact on the Further Learn and Purchase Decision phases of the purchase process.
The study drew a direct correlation between the use of the Internet and the decline in impact of the salesperson. "Nearly 40% said the Internet had decreased their reliance on some sort of intermediary, whether it was a broker or an in-store salesperson," DoubleClick said.
The survey also found that news and financial sites have the greatest impact on mortgage applicants, closely followed by company Web sites, according to the New York-based company.