2016 Finalist

How people buy


London, United Kingdom

Category Consumer Research

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

The way people find out about and choose brands and products these days is complex. They use multiple devices to access information 24/7, decision-making is often irrational and peer influence is increasingly important.

In this context, communications experts are reframing how they represent and discuss the consumer decision journey. One particularly useful analogy is a pinball machine - a trigger causes people to enter the decision-making process, but once in, they bounce from one touchpoint to another, often moving backwards as well as forwards, before eventually making a decision – hopefully!

This makes the choice of media touchpoints extremely important for media planners, but also extremely challenging.

The big danger for newsbrands – especially now their readership is spread across a range of platforms – is that media agencies are not always clear where they fit in the media mix, or how and when they can best be used to influence consumer buying.

We wanted to help media agencies and clients navigate this complexity. Newsworks partnered with Flamingo and Tapestry research, along with behavioural economics expert Dr Nick Southgate, in a major four-stage study to explore purchase journeys. We wanted to make sure that the findings lived beyond the launch event and presentations, to become an essential part of the media planner’s toolkit.

Our idea was to produce a simple-to-use calculator that would immediately show which channels are best at influencing different types of purchase; which channels have the greatest influence at the different stages of the purchase journey and how different media channels work together. We needed to cover the widest possible range of touchpoints - paid, owned and earned - as well as ensuring that the impact of newsbrands in all their forms, and in combination with other media was clearly highlighted.

Results for this campaign

The Newsworks consumer journeys planning tool has been a huge success since its launch on November 15th 2015, at an event attended by 80 media agency and client representatives. The tool is accessed online (http://www.newsworks.org.uk/planningtool) and has already been completed 1,923 times. Each user is spending over 6.5 minutes running an average of 2.5 reports per session.

The immediate response was highly appreciative:
“Fascinating presentations from @newsworks_uk. New insight on the consumer buying journey & launch of a planning tool.” Steve Goodman, Managing Director Print Trading at GroupM, live Tweet

We have also demonstrated the planning tool to our stakeholders and agency heads of strategy and are implementing a programme of roadshows to all major media agencies across the UK.

The tool enhances and complements other planning tools:
“It’s really useful, it fits with what we see from our own planning tool, which is a good thing and then adds an extra layer of data.” Stephen Bullivant, Planner, MEC Manchester

It helps clarify the influential role of newsbrands on buying patterns:
“In an age of almost limitless choice, the role of newsbrands to inspire confidence along the path to purchase should not be underestimated.” Alison Drummond, Head of insight, Carat.

The planning tool also helps demonstrate the quality and robustness of the original research. Findings have been viewed over 1,400 times (http://www.newsworks.org.uk/Topics-themes/83770).

It even received government recognition:
Minister Ed Vaizey’s Culture and Creative Industries Team:

“New research into consumer journeys shows that media plays an important role in framing brand perceptions, helping people to form opinions as they subconsciously absorb information on products, brands and retailers.”

From a behavioural economics perspective, we understand that when people make decisions what they truly desire is to make a confident decision. The journey is about reducing worry and regret. This applies to media agencies and clients as much as it does to consumers: the Newsworks planning tool inspires confidence in their media planning and buying decisions.


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