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Nearly 1 in 10 consumers surveyed (9%) say they are influenced or greatly influenced by sponsored links when searching for products or services on the internet, according to an analysis of BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM 11).

Advertisers are allocating more dollars to sponsored links, and understanding who is influenced by them has become a requirement for effective allocation, BIGresearch said.

Among the findings:

  • Those influenced by sponsored links are most likely to say magazines triggered their online search (52.7%), followed by coupons (50.8%) and TV broadcasts (47.5%):

bigresearch-search-triggers-by-medium.jpg

  • Among the top 5 items that those influenced search for online, clothing/shoes are the category they are most likely to search for more than other adults – 85.6% vs. 71.2% (a difference of 14.4 percentage points):

bigresearch-search-top-categories-items-searched-for.jpg

  • Compared with all adults 18+, those who are influenced by sponsored links tend to be younger, with an average age of 40.7 (vs. 44.8) with slightly lower incomes ($53,901 vs. $56,811); 7.7% are students (vs. 6.1%).
  • Among those who are influenced, 62.6% are White/Caucasian, 22.1% are Hispanic, 19.5% are African-American/Black and 3.8% are Asian.
  • Those who are more influenced by sponsored links tend more than the average of all adults to be anticipating life events in the next six months:

bigresearch-search-life-events-in-six-months.jpg

  • Those more influenced also tend more than the average to be planning major purchases:

bigresearch-search-items-plan-to-buy-in-six-months.jpg

“Consumers who are influenced by sponsored links appear to be on a mission due to some event in their lives. As a result, they are self-directed when using media, which is why they prefer digital media options that allow them to get the information they want when they want it,” said Gary Drenik, President of BIGresearch. “Advertisers looking to reach people in the market to buy should look at this consumer segment as an important part of their ad mix.”

About the data: BIGresearch’s syndicated Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM) is focused on consumers to gauge their consumption across media, products and services. SIMM monitors more than 15,000 consumers twice each year; 15,727 respondents participated in the latest SIMM survey.

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