By Claire West

Of course Google didn’t invent the Internet; Google didn’t even invent the search engine but now before any of us make a purchase we spend time online — even if we eventually buy offline.

In fact recent research has suggested that four out of ten people prefer to research online before purchasing offline (ROPO).

In the UK alone, ROPO business is thought to be worth €36bn per annum in the retail, technology, consumer packaged goods, entertainment and finance sectors.

Having established that our customers are carrying out research online there are two important things that every marketing professional must now consider.

First of all they must make sure that they get ‘found’ online, and then they need to ensure that they give customers the right information to enable them to make a purchasing decision.

Sainsbury's Marketing Director, Sarah Warby recently said that 'if you are not feeling and acting like a publisher, you are missing a massive trick'.

Speaking to Marketing Magazine she described one of their sites, which has no transactional element, as an 'information browsing hub' and argues that this type of content strategy is becoming a key component of the chain's marketing.

The great thing about what Sainsbury’s are doing is that quality, content rich websites or blogs not only help attract searching customers but they then give them the information they need.

To find out more about the case for content marketing go to and download our free guide to ‘The Case for content marketing’