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BizReport : Social Marketing : December 15, 2006

Study: CGM The Great Influencer

According to a new study, consumer-generated media – blogs, message boards and other online communities – is a great influencer of U.S. travel and automobile purchasing decisions.

by Kristina Knight

More than 50% of respondents to the Compete study said they used consumer-generated media to make or narrow their choices, 23% used CGM to confirm a decision and 15% used CGM to determine what their top choice should be.

Some key findings from the study:
* 71% of car and travel consumers are influenced by CGM
* Only 35% of the same consumers are influenced by brand
* Auto buyers prefer consumer reviews and ratings over company websites (32%) and car dealers (32%)
* 2/3 of travelers prefer consumer reviews.

Compete estimates that around $2 billion from the Travel Spend is influenced by CGM.

“CGM is money in the bank for marketers who know how to tap into the new currency around CGM,” said Cynthia Stephens, director of marketing at Compete, Inc (in a statement). “Marketers will need to go beyond buzz-tracking tools to analyze and connect with in-market consumers in a new landscape. Companies that follow this course have nothing to fear about losing control of the marketing message.”

Tags: blogs, consumer-generated media, message boards, online community, social networks

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  • I think the results of the survey are important for the very reason that it is connected to people that are currently interacting and using CGM to make decisions. Obviously it would have no use it was talking about people that rarely use the medium.

  • Pauline Draper

    These statistics should be considered in relation to the sample used in the survey. It is unfortunate that this was not included within the article. The Complete press release states that the survey sample consisted of automotive and travel buyers who had made a purchase within the past six months and who had visited a blog, review site, message board or online community during the past 60 days. Clearly this is a very specific and cgm orientated target which accounts for the high results. It is not the general automotive buying and travelling population due to the second part of the qualifying criteria for the survey.



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