Print Newspaper Ads Seen A Key Influence on Consumer Shopping Behavior

September 17, 2014

NAA-Actions-Driven-by-Newspaper-Ads-Sept2014Print newspaper ads are still a powerful medium for influencing consumer purchase behavior, details the Newspaper Association of American (NAA) in a new report. The study notes that 52% of adults use print newspapers – including ads in regular news and classified pages and inserted circulars – on a weekly basis to assist them with their shopping planning and purchase decisions. Many also report having bought something advertised in a print newspaper.

Overall, 79% of respondents said they had taken some action in response to a print newspaper ad during the prior 30 days. The most commonly reported actions were:

  • Becoming aware of sale (61%);
  • Clipping a coupon (51%)
  • Buying something advertised (48%);
  • Visiting a retail store or showroom (40%); and
  • Discussing or mentioning the product advertised with a friend or family member (40%).

With 14% also saying they had bought something at an internet advertising website that they saw advertised in the newspaper, some 52% overall were influenced to make a purchase by newspaper ads.

In general, older respondents were more likely than their younger counterparts to report having made a purchase in response to a print newspaper ad, although Millennials were the most likely to have gone online to run a search for an advertised product or check its website.

Print newspaper ads’ greater influence among older consumers is supported by recent research from MarketingCharts. That study also found newspaper ads’ influence to be larger among educated and affluent adults.

The MarketingCharts study on ad effectiveness revealed that, relative to their reach, print newspaper ads garner a significant amount of attention from consumers. Indeed, the NAA report indicates that half of newspaper readers usually glance at or read ads when they page through the newspaper, and 63% do so either when they go through the newspaper or are planning to shop.

In fact, newspaper ads also appear to reach non-readers: among survey respondents who said they had not “read or looked into” a newspaper during the prior week, 15% reported having used a newspaper to check sales in local stores, while 13% had clipped a coupon and 6% had checked a classified ad.

In looking at the benefits of various types of advertising, the study notes that print newspaper ads outweigh other advertising channels when it comes to bringing sales to consumers’ attention and for being believable and trustworthy.

About the Data: The study describes its methodology as follows:

“The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) contracted with Frank N. Magid Associates, based in Minneapolis, to conduct the research described in this report. Magid produced similar studies in this series in 1999, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013. NAA gratefully acknowledges the expert guidance of Brent Stahl, vice president, Frank N. Magid Associates, in the execution of this study.

The latest edition of How America Shops and Spends is based on a national telephone and online survey conducted in English from May 20, 2014 to May 31, 2014. Data collection and processing were very similar to recent studies in this series.

Two data collection formats were used in order to reach a wider range of respondents (including those without landline telephones) than would be possible with one technique. The survey involved 1,527 English-speaking adult (age 18+) respondents, including 1,000 by landline telephone and 527 online. The online respondents were screened for using cell phones exclusively or primarily for personal telephone calls. The sample was balanced by the population distributions of the four Census regions (Northeast, South, Midwest and West). The telephone sample was random digit dial (RDD) in format, while the online interviews were obtained via national panels. Two online panels were employed to balance potential biases that might be present from using just one.

The data set was weighted initially by number of adults in the household, and then post- stratification weights were calculated simultaneously for minor adjustments for age by gender categories, race (white, African-American and other), Hispanic ethnicity, household income, Internet access, and cell phone reliance. Weighting targets were taken from recent updates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

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