This week sees the release of the first Nexus customer dynamics monitor, 'Shopping Centred', which explores all things where communications meets grocery, buying decisions, and the world of information sharing.
The work has been pulled together through surveys and focus groups and with opinion and input from Cranfield School of Management, specifically Professor Paul Baines, Senior Lecturer in Marketing.
The findings from the monitor provide food for thought: surprises, challenges to popularly 'accepted' beliefs, and fresh insight into what really works and what really doesn't, ensuring our consultancy advice is always grounded in commercial realities and not industry hype.
Have a read of the press release below summarising the findings and then get in touch to dive a little deeper...
A new study from Nexus Communications examining the influence of communications channels on today’s grocery shoppers has revealed how the impact of social media is trounced by the value of face to face conversation with family and friends when it comes to making grocery purchase decisions.
The ‘Shopping Centred’ study highlights how the circle of trust for grocery products is firmly centred on traditional close knit nature recommendations, with 82% of those surveyed crediting information from this trusted set of sources as a key influence on their buying a product. In contrast, only 4% credit social network discussions as being an influence on their shopping choices.
The study also indicates that three quarters of discussions around grocery products still take place face to face, with less than ten per cent occurring digitally.
Exposure to PR led communications is what gives sharers the greatest confidence to share, with the discipline ranking highest within the marketing mix for delivering reassurance and confidence in a brand.
And in a case that builds increasingly around the need for trust and credibility as drivers for grocery conversation, celebrity sources fail to inspire as influences (4%), whilst expert storytellers convince one on five to stay with a product because they inspire greater trust in the brand’s credentials. In store spontaneity is also on the fall versus an increase in researched and planned purchases (26% vs 74%), with customers wanting and needing to know what they are buying before being sold to in store.
Nexus Managing Director Richard Medley explains: “Social media is undoubtedly an integral part of the communications mix, but this study suggests that the swathe of brands using their communities as product showcases rather than brand building environments are missing the point. The need for trust is what is driving reliance on real life friends and family, rather than recommendations from ‘faux friends’, online acquaintances or brands themselves using social channels as sales portals rather than affinity builders.
“In tight times people default to comfort zones with less risk attached and messages, storytellers and experiences that are more personally targeted and relevant to their world.”
Professor Paul Baines, from Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, adds: “This study provides useful guidance for marketing directors who are making decisions on where to spend their hard-earned communications budgets: not so much on celebrity endorsers but on expert endorsers, not so much on advertising but on contagious PR, and not so much on messages which resonate with individuals but messages which resonate with families”