At the start of the purchase journey, search engines still have a hugely important role to play. Globally, close to half of consumers say they discover new brands using these tools, making them the most common go-to point and giving them a lead over TV ads and word-of-mouth recommendations.
It’s a similar story when consumers are carrying out research on a product or brand – they’re still notably more likely to be doing so on a search engine than anywhere else. That said, social networks are becoming an increasingly important touchpoint for product research, especially among 16-24s, as per Global Web Index. Indeed, the older the person, the more wedded they are to search engines; conversely, the younger they are, the more likely they are to turn to social platforms and/or mobile apps.