People, not ads, most effective means of influencing consumer buying decisions

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According to Experticity‘s study, it is people, not channels, that consumers trust the most. Their study found that, while 83% of marketers believe traditional advertising is the most effective means of influencing consumers’ buying decisions, less than half of consumers (47%) agreed with them. In fact, traditional advertising was almost the very least trusted source.

Furthermore, 82% of marketers believe that social media is an “extremely” or “somewhat” effective channel via which to influence consumers yet, once again, consumers disagree. Just 49% of consumers said they trust brand campaigns on social media.

When it comes to which sources consumers trust the most, people featured in the top three. Eighty-one percent of consumers ranked family or friends as their top trusted source, followed by online reviews (76%) and third-party experts (70%).

Yet, found the study, just 36% of marketers implement programs that support word-of-mouth.

“Consumers clearly value interactions with credible, trustworthy people much more than traditional advertisements,” said Tom Stockham, CEO of Experticity. “Across the board, marketers are overvaluing traditional advertising and not placing nearly enough emphasis on actual people–who, it turns out, are what actually impact consumers most.”



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.