What do you base your big-purchase decisions on?
Very little has to do with advertising, right?
Advertising might get me to think about a product, add it to my consideration list. But I don’t use it to make my decision. Do you?
I decided to take a look at items I buy and why. Here’s what I came up with. Are your buying reasons similar?
Big ticket items
I bought a Ford Escape. Why?
- Had a great experience with a previous Ford.
- It got a thumbs-up from my dad, who’s a mechanic and the most important opinion I trust when it comes to cars.
- My bad back was most comfortable in the Escape and the Nissan Murano (I had a horrible experience with my last car, which was a Nissan).
- The Escape was in my price range (and I loved the car overall).
- I wanted something not too big and not too small.
- The Vizio was in my price range and offered the size and features I wanted.
- The picture looked crisp and clear.
Okay, I don’t have a lot of big-ticket items, so I started wondering if there’s a difference with lower-cost purchases.
Small ticket items
There are a ton of beer ads on TV, which is why I chose this one. In this decision, only one bullet (the first one) really counts for me, but I’ll list three that actually enter into my decision.
- Flavor I’m in the mood for
Now, if I see an ad for Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer in the fall, I might go buy it—but only because I like the beer. The ad just reminded me.
- Value for size and price
- Hypoallergenic and unscented
There are many laundry detergent ads on TV too, but this is one product I buy based on my personal experience alone.
So where does advertising come in?
I have to say that it often does play a role in whether or not I consider a product. But when it comes down to it, I buy products I trust. And if I don’t know the product, reviews on Amazon and opinions of people I know are the most likely to help me make my decision.
Unlike the author of the tweet, I won’t call advertising fiction (though I won’t say she’s wrong either). But I do think advertising is more an awareness tool than a sales tool.
Advertising helps remind us of what our choices are, and each ad or each campaign leaves us with either a positive or negative impression that we carry into the buying experience.