Dec 23, 2010

Engaging Consumers: Influencing Buying Decisions

A Five Part Series Based on Insights from an Independent Research Firm

for PR Newswire

Part Three:  The Buying Decision: Discovering the Product Researcher

In my previous blog posts (parts one and two), I referred to the survey PR Newswire commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct (PR Newswire: Web Site User Analysis & Opportunities, September 29, 2010) of our web audiences on and PR Newswire for Journalists (PRNJ ).   The purpose of the survey was to understand more about our user demographics; their current habits on the web and what they were looking for in the future.

For part three of our series,  I would like to introduce you to a previously undiscovered audience on, a group we’re calling “the product researcher”.

Now,  announcing a new product through a press release has been a pretty standard routine for those in public relations, but the idea that could be used as a directory of product knowledge is fairly new.

We were aware that people who searched for product names via Google landed on as our site is optimized for just that.  What we did not fully realize was the extent to which these product researchers were using

Per the data from our Forrester Consulting survey, product researchers account for 15% of the traffic on  They come expressly to look for information on something they are thinking of buying or have already bought.  And even though 63% of product researchers identified by the survey come in through Google, they visit on a regular basis.

These product researchers actually frequent on a very regular basis.  The Forrester Consulting survey revealed that just under half of those interested in product information, 43% to be exact, come to at least weekly.

According to the Forrester Consulting survey, 20% of those identifying as product researchers come to on a DAILY basis.  For this 20%, is an integral part of purchasing or researching products.  These same people also visit sites such as and If you are a marketer, this information is critical.  For much less than you would spend on advertising, your product can be in front of people proactively looking for it.

On top of proactively searching for product knowledge, product researchers, along with the individual investors from last week’s post, create, consume and share content in high numbers, amplifying messages and increasing the audiences for product news.

I’ll share with you what we learned about their creating, consuming and sharing habits next week.

Authored by Sandra Azzollini, Director, Online Content & Community.

Image courtesy of Flickr user nicksarebi.

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