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The Age of Social Influence

We know that the once linear and transaction-centric purchase funnel is now multi-directional, random and heavily influenced by opinion and information gathered by consumers. And we know that because of social media and technology, consumers can now enter the purchase cycle at various points, and spontaneously influence others as they travel along the path the purchase. But do we really understand how marketers can unlock the real value of all this? Do we know how social media works with other more established media?

And do we know how to harness the power of social media for real commercial gain? In order to find aanswers to some of these crucial questions, Initiative set out to explore the individual and combined strength of TV, social and mobile, and how consumer interaction with each has altered the path to purchase.

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Specifically, we wanted to investigate: • Howdoweproducegreatersynergybetweenoursiloed media,socialandmobilebudgetsandtacticsthatresultina greaterreturnoninvestment? • Whataretheimpactofsocial,TVandmobileonshopper decision-making? • Whatroledoesconsumerinfluenceplayalongthepathto purchase?

However, our study found that while the integration of social, TV and mobile has indeed altered the way consumers make decisions about brands, it is not because of their ability to simply multiply brand messages. Increasingly, consumers are becoming the driving force powering what, when and where brand interactions occur. Based upon our findings, Initiative believes that by leveraging the consumer’s natural inclination to engage with media across multiple screens and social media, we can create a consumer-powered media synergy effect that is both non-linear and emotional – driving deeper engagement and trust.