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Make the Most Trusted Source of Information Your Promotion Platform

A recent study by Yahoo! showed that a full 75% of the US is connected to the internet, and nearly half of those connected (45%) use a broadband connection to access the web.

According to another report released in May 2006 by Yahoo! and OMD more than two-thirds of shoppers across several product categories still make the bulk of their purchases at physical retail locations -- yet nearly two-thirds (62%) use a combination of online and offline sources to gather information before they buy. According to the report:

"The Internet is far more than just another point of purchase; its biggest impact lies within the awareness and consideration process," said Wenda Harris Millard, Yahoo!'s chief sales officer. "The widespread adoption of social technologies gives marketers an even greater opportunity to continuously engage consumers and make connections across traditional and new media advertising, helping to build brand mindshare and increase offline sales."

The research shows that the Internet is crucial to consumers as they follow various paths on their way to making a purchase. The Internet serves as a price leveler, has helped create a communal shopping experience, and is where consumers turn for trusted sources of information and dependable customer reviews.

The Internet is now the most common method of gathering information, with consumers using the Internet to comparison shop more often than they use it to buy goods. While consumers are online looking for information, the study found the following thing is important when making a purchasing decision:

Trusted information. Consumers say the Internet is the most trusted shopping information source (54 percent), followed by magazines (34 percent) and TV (23 percent). Seventy-four percent of people use trusted, familiar Web sites when purchasing online, and 55 percent opt-in for e-mail marketing messages from companies they trust.

A full-year campaign on the Ground Trades Xchange costs about the same as a single (one-time), quarter-page ad in most trade magazines.

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