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Hertz Partners With OMD and ShareThis to Measure Consumer Impact of Social Activity"Path to Purchase Study" Highlights Sharing as a Critical Indicator of Intent in the Purchase Cycle (May 31, 2012)
PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/31/12 -- The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ), the world's largest general use airport car rental brand, in collaboration with its media communications agency OMD and ShareThis, one of the largest platforms for sharing across the Web, today released the results of its "Hertz Path to Purchase Study."
"Through the Path to Purchase Study, Hertz is better able to understand how our customers' social activity and conversations impact purchasing decisions," said Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and CEO of Hertz. "Examining the value and purchasing implications of 'sharing' is important to us, and the study will help identify how Hertz can most effectively connect with customers at the most relevant touch points."
The study focused on the spectrum of online behavior that leads to sales conversions and uncovered the impact of social conversations on pre-purchase activities such as search and site visitation. In a study across 11.5 million users and 3.2 million travel category URLs, ShareThis and OMD examined Hertz customers' pre-purchase behaviors -- content viewing, searching and site visitation -- and determined the impact of social behaviors such as sharing and clicking on shared links on their journey towards purchase.
"The social conversations we have around a brand or piece of content are valuable indicators of our purchase intent," said Kurt Abrahamson, CEO of ShareThis. "The results show that sharing a great campaign or clicking on a link that a friend sent your way is an incredibly telling indicator of preference and potential for conversion."
Key findings of the study:
- It all starts with a share. Users who engaged in social conversations around Hertz -- that is, those who shared and received information around the brand, its competitors, car rental and/or travel -- were 30 percent more likely to make a purchase than users who didn't engage in social conversations.
- Timely targeting is critical. In the earlier stages of the purchase cycle, brands have a longer time period to engage with users to lead them farther along the path to purchase. But as users approach the latter stages, messaging is best delivered immediately.
- Social conversations pack a punch. Users who engaged in social activity around Hertz and related topics during the early stages of the purchase cycle were four times as likely to search for car rental terms and twice as likely to visit the Hertz website.
"We tend to credit search as a primary part of the path to purchase, but this study reveals the significant role sharing and social activity play in the purchase cycle," said Colin Sutton, Social Media Director, OMD. "These results point to a critical moment of relevance that takes place higher up in the purchase funnel than search, and tuning into this valuable sharing activity will help brands keep a finger on the pulse of where customer intent lies, identify who's most receptive to their message and reach out to those customers at the optimal time."
The Hertz Corporation -- a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. -- is the world's largest general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,000 locations in approximately 150 countries worldwide. Hertz is the number one airport car rental brand in the U.S. and at 94 major airports in Europe, operating both corporate and licensee locations in cities and airports in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the Company has licensee locations in cities and airports in Africa and the Middle East. Product and service initiatives such as Hertz #1 Club Gold®, NeverLost® customized, onboard navigation systems, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and unique cars and SUVs offered through the Company's Adrenaline and Green Traveler Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition. In 2008, the Company entered the global car sharing market in London, New York City and Paris. Hertz also operates one of the world's largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, offering a diverse line of equipment, including tools and supplies, as well as new and used equipment for sale, to customers ranging from major industrial companies to local contractors and consumers from approximately 315 branches in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, China and Saudi Arabia, as well as through its international licensees.
To make car rental reservations or for more information, customers can call their travel agent, or call Hertz toll-free at 1-800-654-3131. Information and reservations are also available on the web at www.hertz.com.
ShareThis is one of the largest and most innovative platforms for sharing across the Web. Designed around social media -- both the content that inspires sharing and the audiences that socialize it -- the company's platform allows for direct relationships with the key players in the advertising ecosystem: publishers, advertisers, and consumers. ShareThis enables publishers to offer popular content sharing features which foster increased usage and engagement while providing advertisers effective ad targeting capabilities and analytics derived from sharing activity. Based in Palo Alto, CA, with offices in New York and Cincinnati, ShareThis is privately held with funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Blue Chip Venture Company, DFJ Mercury, Illinois Ventures, Matthew Pritzker Company, Queen City Angels, RPM Ventures and Reservoir Partners.
OMD, a unit of Omnicom Media Group, is one of largest full service media companies in the world, with more than 4,300 employees in 80 countries. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients worldwide.
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