SOURCE: BIGresearch

January 24, 2007 09:14 ET

BIGresearch's SIMM 9: Advice Givers and Seekers Are Mirror Images of Each Other

Advice Givers Are Also Advice Seekers

COLUMBUS, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 24, 2007 -- Marketers' attempts at increasing advertising ROI has heightened their willingness to try non-traditional advertising options, including Word of Mouth. BIGresearch's latest Simultaneous Media Study (SIMM 9) bolsters this new opportunity to influence consumers since 28.7% of consumers say they regularly give advice to others about products or services, while another 65.4% say they occasionally do. When it comes to seeking advice from others, fewer consumers say they do so regularly (16.2%), however 74.6% say they occasionally do.

"Over 90% of consumers regularly or occasionally give advice or seek advice from others," said Gary Drenik, President & CEO of BIGresearch. "These two consumer groups are essentially one and the same."

"People who give advice to others also like to seek advice as a way of gaining knowledge on products which they will then pass along to advice givers," said Joe Pilotta, VP, Research of BIGresearch.

"One of the primary means for gaining product knowledge for advice givers is through Internet searches and some sites are used much more than others by advice givers and seekers. For example, for regular advice givers and advice seekers, the top five search engines are the same: Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Ask," said Pilotta.

The similarities for advice givers and advice seekers don't stop at search engine usage, but continues for product categories searches.

Regular or Occasional Online Search for Product Categories

                        Regular Advice   Regular Advice
                        Givers           Seekers
Auto / Truck            68.1%            69.2%
Clothing / Shoes        75.3%            75.3%
Financial Services      54.4%            56.5%
Maps / Directions       93.8%            93.6%
Medical Information     69.4%            70.8%
Beyond pure online research, advice givers and seekers responses are virtually the same when asked if they regularly or occasionally research products online before purchasing in a store or in person. 96.9% of advice seekers said so versus 96.6% of advice givers.
Top 5 Product Types Researched Online before Store Purchase

Regular Advice Givers         Regular Advice Seekers
Electronics                   Electronics
Apparel                       Apparel
Appliances                    Appliances
Home Improvement              Shoes
Shoes                         Home Improvement
"Marketers should not bifurcate online behavior into convenient dualisms, seekers vs. givers. Rather, seeking and giving advice is a process of updating social networks punctuated by purchases. It would be detrimental to address these consumers as merely a source of building brand equity," said Pilotta.

Additional information on SIMM and other BIGresearch samples may be accessed by going to: and clicking on Complimentary Top Line Findings.

About BIGresearch

BIGresearch is a market intelligence firm providing analysis of consumer behavior in areas of retail, financial services, automotive, and media. The syndicated Simultaneous Media Usage Study (SIMM) monitors more than 15,000 consumers twice each year to identify opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace including the media. They also conduct the Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) which monitors the pulse of more than 7,000 consumers each month.

BIGresearch's methodology provides the most accurate consumer information in the industry with a margin of error of +/- 1 percent.

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