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The Corporate Executive Board Company : Consumers Crave Simplicity Not Engagement

05/08/2012 | 08:05am US/Eastern

ARLINGTON, Va., May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Corporate Executive Board (CEB) (NYSE: EXBD), a leading research and advisory services firm, the rise of new technology has fundamentally changed the way consumers buy, providing greater access to information and choice than ever before. Feeling overwhelmed, consumers want support - not increased marketing messages or "engagement" - to more quickly and easily navigate the purchase process. Brands that help consumers simplify the purchase journey have customers who are 86 percent more likely to purchase their products and 115 percent more likely to recommend their brand to others.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120508/PH02417 )

In a study of 7,000 consumers and marketing executives representing 125 consumer brands across 12 industries, CEB identified a significant disconnect between current marketing strategies, including customer engagement, and preferred consumer buying behavior. While most marketers are behaving as if the majority of consumers are open to having a relationship with their brand, CEB found only 20 percent of consumers report being open to such relationships. As a result, today's marketing tactics are making customers less loyal and resulting in lost revenue for companies.

"Our research indicates that the impact of simplifying purchase decisions for consumers is four times stronger than the favored marketing strategy of engagement and is the number one driver of likelihood to buy," said Patrick Spenner, managing director at CEB. "Too much choice and information causes customers to over-think purchase decisions, making them more likely to change their minds about a product, be less confident in their choice and less likely to repurchase."

To capture customers' attention and build loyalty, companies should invest in making the purchasing process so simple that customers' decision-making actually becomes easier. CEB's insights show a 20 percent increase in simplifying the decision-making process results in a 96 percent increase in a customer's likelihood to purchase, re-purchase or recommend a particular brand. Companies can simplify the buying process in three important ways by helping consumers:

    --  Trust Information: provide recommendations by consumer advisors, ratings
        and reviews
    --  Navigate the Purchase Process: simplify the research process by offering
        clear and streamlined brand-specific product information targeted to
        each decision stage
    --  Weigh Comparison Options: make transparent buying guides and brand
        differentiated information easily available

Executives can learn more by downloading "To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple," taking CEB's Decision Simplicity Quiz, or by visiting www.executiveboard.com/simplicity.

About Corporate Executive Board

By identifying and building on the proven best practices of the world's best companies, Corporate Executive Board (CEB) helps senior executives and their teams drive corporate performance. CEB offers comprehensive data analysis, research and advisory services that align to executive leadership roles and key recurring decisions. CEB tools, insights, and analysis empower member companies to focus efforts, move quickly, and address emerging and enduring business challenges with confidence. CEB's client and member network includes 85 percent of the Fortune 500, 50 percent of the Dow Jones Asian Titans, and 70 percent of the FTSE 100. It spans more than 50 countries, 5,700 individual organizations, and 225,000 business professionals. For more information, visit www.executiveboard.com.

SOURCE Corporate Executive Board

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