We’re excited to release our latest study of ad influencers and how they measure up with earned and owned channels. In our new US Purchase Influencers Report 2019, we delve into the media activities, exposure to ads, attention to advertisers, and reported purchase influencers of US adults across several demographic variables.

Ad spending in the US is following general consumer behaviors, such as declines across print and steady increases for digital. However, the argument that ad spend should simply mimic consumers’ media consumption behaviors assumes receptiveness to advertising is constant across advertising types.

Is that a fair assumption? Are people as receptive to an ad on social media as they are to one on TV (or more)? Do people feel as though they notice advertisers in the places where they’re most exposed to ads? And which advertising media – as well as earned and owned media – do they believe most influence their purchases?

Based on a nationally representative survey of more than 2,600 US adults, our 36-page study – which contains 32 charts and tables – examines:

  • 20 paid, owned and earned purchase influencers; for
  • 4 activities and responses (e.g. which ads they feel drive purchases); across
  • 6 demographic variables.

This year we’ve tested two new variables: influencer posts on social media; and podcast ads. See how they stack up!

The report is available for purchase as either just a PDF study or as a PDF plus an accompanying folder full of the report’s png charts and an Excel file with the full survey results by demographic.

Some notable findings follow.

  • Word-of-mouth is the leading influencer of consumers’ purchases overall, followed by opt-in emails and TV advertising. However, lower-income and multicultural adults rely more on TV ads than word-of-mouth to guide their purchases.
  • Direct mail rounds out the top 5 (of 20) purchase influencers. It carries more heft with older generations, and is supplanted by social media ads among Millennials.
  • Advertising exposure and influence tends to increase alongside income and education level. This is especially true for opt-in emails and print ads, among others.
  • More Millennials and affluents ($100k+) report having made a purchase in the past 6 months as a result of podcast advertising than radio advertising.
  • Boomers claim to tune out advertising to a greater extent than Millennials, and other comparisons of demographic groups likewise find some ascribing less purchase influence to paid, owned and earned media than others.

The full report is available for purchase here.

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