ABSOLUTE VALUE by Itamar Simonson


What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information
Email this review


An erudite study on how the information age has affected the consumer purchasing experience.

Marketing and advertising professionals Simonson and Rosen (The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing, 2000) collaborate on a timely discussion of how consumer purchasing patterns have drastically changed in recent years. They attribute this radical shift to the information age’s increased availability of “perfect information,” whereby consumers have unlimited access to peer reviews, informed professional opinions (Yelp, Zagat, etc.) and specific details prior to purchasing a product. It’s a potent combination establishing what the authors call the “absolute value” of an item or service for sale. They further explore this consumer-driven concept and how it relates to marketers in three sections detailing the foundation of the marketing industry, how the customer experience is fundamentally changing and directly affecting the promotion of products, and the advertising industry’s response to that change and where its future lies. Supplemented by examples both real and hypothetical, the authors discuss how online shopping has replaced traditionally based sales trends with responsible (not “irrational”) information-fortified purchasing. This trend, however economically beneficial for consumers, forces marketers to remix and restrategize how they advertise to the public, a method Simonson and Rosen call the “Influence Mix,” an amalgam of influential sources through which to base effective marketing decisions. In other sections, the authors weigh the significance of product diversification and deliberate browsing against interpersonally communicated opinions, and they elucidate the relevance of brand proxying in today’s oversaturated marketplace. Perhaps better suited to professionals than casual readers, both Simonson and Rosen expertly channel their industry expertise into this tightly focused, contemplative analysis. The age of informed decision-making is upon us, they write, and this means more carefully evaluated choices for buyers and the ultimate challenge for marketers and advertising teams.

A well-produced economic study on how technology is changing how we shop.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-221567-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Harper Business
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2014


NonfictionTHE OVERSPENT AMERICAN by Juliet B. Schor
by Juliet B. Schor
by Joe Simonds
NonfictionTHE GREAT BEANIE BABY BUBBLE by Zac Bissonnette
by Zac Bissonnette