Which Advertising Channels Have the Biggest Purchase Influence on Consumers?

July 8, 2014

Ad-Influence-Entry-ChartMarketers are increasing their spending on digital advertising at a rapid rate, and many CMOs predict that digital media will soon capture upwards of three-quarters of marketers’ budgets. But do consumers believe that online ads are as effective as traditional media in influencing their purchase decisions? A new MarketingCharts Debrief, “Advertising Channels With the Largest Purchase Influence on Consumers” [download page] builds on existing research by examining the stated purchase influence of various ad channels across a range of demographic groups.

The study provides essential guidance to marketers by:

  • Providing an overview of the US advertising market;
  • Measuring consumers’ attitudes to advertising; and
  • Analyzing the channels with the largest stated influence on consumers, sorted by age, gender, household income and education level.

The results suggest that online ads have some catching up to do, with TV emerging as the most influential advertising channel for most demographic groups. Among some groups, though, certain online channels (such as social media ads and search engine ads) have significant influence, challenging traditional media in terms of stated purchase influence and ability to recall advertisers. Meanwhile, the Debrief also finds a surprising degree of influence attributed to print advertising channels, particularly in relation to their reach. And even among Millennials, the generation most likely to respond to some digital ads, certain traditional advertising channels prove surprisingly effective.

The Debrief features 16 charts and tables comprised largely of survey research conducted by MarketingCharts, but supplemented with a mix of data privately-sourced from leading providers and publicly available research (some of which has previously been featured on the MarketingCharts website). The study includes a handy cheat sheet revealing the demographic groups that are most influenced by various advertising channels, and comes with an accompanying Excel workbook containing the full survey results cited in the study (measuring media reach, stated ability to recall advertisers, and stated purchase influence, for each demographic group).

About the Data: MarketingCharts is grateful for contributions to this report from Experian Marketing Services, and to SurveyMonkey for opening up its Audience panel for a nationally representative survey of 2,015 adults.

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