Why are TV ads encouraging you to research online?

In the last few days TV ads have been airing  that encourage you to research on-line. Finally TV advertisers are acknowledging that in many product categories, customers are unlikely to move without on-line research.

So which are these path breaking TV Ads that have come out openly – encouraging research by consumers? The first ad we noticed was for Rhino Shield , a ceramic exterior paint that is claimed to be long lasting. The Ad actually asks viewers to "Google" the product. The second Ad noticed today was for "Honda CRV" that encouraged people to "research" without mentioning the Internet, search or a search engine. The Honda brand is much stronger than the Rhino Shield brand and indicates an "across brand phenomenon".[We could not immediately find these TV ads on-line and will update this post with links to the actual Ads ].

The question is: has TV advertising conceded to the Internet when it comes to information, at least in the high value categories like entire home exterior paint, car buying?  The short answer is "Yes" and here are some more thoughts on this major shift:

  • Information asymmetry in serious decline:Information asymmetry in marketing meant that the seller had more information than the buyer and it was difficult for the buyer,particularly individual consumers, to obtain information. With Internet Search, Social Media and rating sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor it is not just cars and home improvement but a $10 lunch that is being researched.
  • Mobile-Smart  phone search: Today's data plans at US wireless providers encourage the user to find a wireless router where they are. Many public places including shopping malls have started providing free wi-fi knowing that people have limited data plans and in any case they will do some on-line research before buying at the mall. By refusing to accept this change in buyer behavior, shopping malls will only hurt their own sales.
  • Some poor ratings are OK – think of elections: Marketers should not worry too much about getting all the best ratings because buyers tend to see such ratings as rigged. Try to address and report action taken on poor ratings and move on- is probably the best course for marketers. Think of any hotly contested election – the (first ) buying decision is somewhat similar to a vote when you know the negatives about each candidate.

That TV ads are encouraging you to research on-line indicates that marketers are finally acknowledging this major change in buyer Internet behavior. Exciting times are ahead. Contact StatoServe.

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