Most Online Consumers Say TV Ads Influence Purchase Decisions

April 9, 2012

exacttarget-ads-most-influence-on-purchases-april2012.jpgTV ads influence a larger proportion of online consumers to purchase a product or service than a variety of other advertising media, finds ExactTarget [pdf] in an April 2012 report. 53% of respondents said a TV ad had influenced them to purchase a product or service in the past 12 months, putting TV ads far ahead of newspaper ads (32%) and magazine ads (30%). In fact, three times more respondents said they had been influenced by a TV ad than by a banner or other ad on a website (53% vs. 18%). Radio ads (16%) also influenced twice as many respondents as video ads on YouTube or billboard ads (both at 8%).

TV Ads Lose Influence Among Elderly Sets

Interestingly, despite Nielsen data showing that adults aged 65 and over watch the most TV, online consumers of this age are less likely to be influenced to make a purchase by an ad on TV than by an ad in a newspaper (45% vs. 47%). This pattern extends to 55-64-year-olds, too (40% vs. 46%).

TV influence is highest among the 15-17, 25-34, and 45-54 age groups, with 59% of each demo reporting being swayed to make a purchase on account of a TV commercial.

Video Ads Far More Influential Among Youth

Data from the “2012 Channel Preference Study” indicates that despite the overall low rate of influence posed by YouTube ads, online consumers aged 15-17 are more likely to be swayed by these ads (22%) than by website ads (19%), TV infomercials (16%), radio ads (12%), and billboard ads (9%), while 18-24-year-olds are also more likely to be influenced by them than radio and billboard ads (16% vs. 12% and 11%, respectively).

Direct Mail Beats Email Among Older Crowd

Looking at direct channels, the study finds that the proportion of online consumers who have ever made a purchase as a result of a marketing message received via email (66%) and direct mail (65%) is virtually equal. Among the more mature age groups, though, direct mail is the clear leader: those aged 65 and older are 31% more likely to have made a purchase based on direct mail than email (85% vs. 65), while those aged 55-64 are 10% more likely to have been influenced by direct mail (75% vs. 68%).

Interestingly, more than twice as many 18-24-year-old respondents said they had ever made a purchase as a result of a direct mail marketing message than a Facebook message (50% vs. 24%).

Other Findings:

  • Teens (15-17) were slightly more likely to say they had made a purchase based on direct mail marketing than an email message (51% vs. 50%).
  • Teens were also more likely to have been influenced to make a purchase by a magazine ad than by a Facebook message (37% vs. 24%).

About the Data: A total of 1,481 respondents completed the ExactTarget survey between January 27, 2012, and February 1, 2012. For data concerning consumers 15-17 years of age, an invitation was first sent to parents with teen-aged children living in the home, requesting permission for their child’s participation in the survey.

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