Other than the impulse buys in line at the grocery store or the stack of DVDs I keep buying but never watch, I, like all people, make purchasing decisions based on information. The best thing about today's world of social media and online interaction is that consumers have more information than ever before. And unlike in the past, it doesn't come from only the brands themselves.
When we looked at the sales cloud, all the words inside were information sources: online reviews, social media, podcasts, blogs, and so on. These trusted referrals, along with Google, provide endless amounts of information about purchase decisions. When we talk about AutoTrader a little further on in this book, we are going to see how it uses information about cars to distinguish itself as an expert and the go-to site for anyone looking for a new car. It's this shift in information control—from the brands to the consumers—that I love most about today's online world. Access to information is the best tool for consumer advocacy.
Information doesn't affect only buying decisions; it also shapes companies and their choices.
Tom Webster, of BrandSavant.com, who you may remember from such other books as UnMarketing and The Book of Business Awesome/The Book of Business UnAwesome, wrote a great post on his blog that shows us how we use information as companies to make decisions—for better or for worse.