By Aaron Baar

Advertising and other traditional marketing methods do influence consumers’ electronics purchase decisions — but other areas of content like consumer reviews and buying guides should not be neglected.

After evaluating more than 3,000 purchases of mobile devices, tablets and wearables, Purch and comScore found several inefficiencies when it comes to ad delivery and the information that consumers find valuable when shopping for tech products. According to the report, more than half (52%) of relevant ad impressions for technology came after the consumer had already purchased a product.

“It points to a significant opportunity to retune and refine ad strategies of reaching the consumer,” Erin Kapczynski, vice president of marketing at Purch, tells Marketing Daily.

Beyond advertising, consumers use media technology sites throughout their purchase process, putting trust in product reviews and testing from neutral parties. According to the research, buyers read 80% more reviews and buying guides than news on those sites.

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By Nana Sidibe

When it comes to gift shopping, a new survey suggests a scenario some may consider a nightmare come to life: young men and women have similar tastes as Dad.

Digital publishing company Purch surveyed 1,000 participants, and found that many students in the 18 t0 24 age group shared similar preferences with their fathers in technology gifts.That would make it easier to shop for their dads.

Both students and fathers aren’t looking for bestseller or most popular items, according to Purch, which holds lessons for retailers and shoppers alike. The firm’s data showed that people from both age groups are likely to skip the bestseller section of a e-commerce website. Only 22 percent of dads reported liking bestseller or most popular items, the study showed, with the percentage for students even smaller at 13 percent.

Within gift choices themselves, there are key similarities with the broader public. Dads and their younger counterparts both favor mobile phones, laptops, and TVs, Purch found, with cellulars ranking first for tech gifts purchased within the past six months.

As one might expect, price and comparison shopping were key motivators.

“Out of the seven activities, the most frequent activity for both segments was to check price and availability at different retailers,” said Erin Kapczynski, Purch’s vice president of digital marketing.

Ninety one percent of dads were comparing different retailers compared to 87 percent of students.

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After a long winter, rebranding has been springing up like May flowers in publishing circles.

Take tech industry publisher TechMedia Network’s recent rebrand to Purch after recent acquisitions of BestofMedia and lead-gen platform Buyer Zone. What’s behind the new name? A solidification of the company’s role as an expert source at the nexus of content and commerce—a direction it has been moving toward for some time.

“The new name is definitely evocative of our mission that we live and breathe—to make complex buying decisions more simplified for consumers and professionals,” says Erin Kapczynski, VP of marketing. Citing a “growing chasm” between the existing name and the company’s mission, Kapczynski tells min, “We wanted to communicate what we do with a new name that’s shorter, punchier and more memorable.”

According to the company, which counts a collective 78 million readers across its publications and sites, 81% of U.S. shoppers spend 79 days gathering information online before buying a product. Purch’s digital platform, which includes b2b-focused site Tom’s Hardware, matches advertising and product reviews with editorial content with a goal of increased reader engagement in both industry and consumer realms.

It’s a mission that’s served the company well, and will lead it to around $100 million in revenue this year, according to Purch, which attracts 7,000 marketers and sellers to its sites and drives north of $1 billion in annual transactions for its clients. It’s also led to growth on the content side, like the recent annexing of Ziff Davis’ Mobile Nations’ brand and its sites Android Central, iMore and Windows Phone Central to the Purch platform.

While some companies may opt to rebrand first and then steer the company in a new direction, Kapczynski says for Purch, “it was just the opposite. We took a hard look at what it is we do well, and what value we bring to consumers as well as to advertisers and sellers, and it became very clear that our value is simplifying complex buying decisions.”

By design, the executive team involved only a small group of company leaders in the decision-making process behind the rebrand, “It’s been exciting to see how quickly everyone has adopted this culture that was created as a result of rebrand.”

The same tact of company evolution first, name change second guided the rebrand at publisher F+W Media, which recently adopted the new moniker F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company. Again, the new name pretty much says it all, emphasizing the ecommerce business the company is embracing.

“We felt like we needed to do the work first, get the results and build the infrastructure and the business,” says chairman/CEO David Nussbaum. “So when we announced the rebrand there was not a lot of, ‘what are we doing and why are we doing this?’

Nussbaum says F+W rebrand “better reflects who we are, since the company moved more aggressively into the e-commerce space.” Having Media in the name “was not terribly accurate,” he notes. “We are a company that produces content, but that no longer means just an article in a magazine or a piece on a Website. It could be online video, terrestrial television, conferences and Webinars.”

Additionally, F+W currently operates more than 20 e-stores and growing, selling everything from content to products. The commerce business is leading significant growth, from $6 million in revenue when F+W opened its first digital store in 2009 to a projected $60 million in 2014, Nussbaum says. “That’s the kind of scale we’re talking about.”

By Cathy Applefeld Olsen, min online

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