Despite the ascendancy of social media, customers still prepare for purchase decisions using a combination of old media, new media, and old-fashioned conversations with friends and family.
According to a March 2009 survey by Harris Interactive, the most common methods of gathering information prior to making a purchase are using a company website (36%), face-to-face conversation with a salesperson or other company representative (22%), and face-to-face conversation with a person not associated with the company (21%). 18- to 24-year-olds are more likely to use social networking sites than adults of all ages (16% vs. 4%). But they're also more likely to rely on conversations with friends and family than all adults (33% vs. 21%).
Source: The Harris Poll