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BizReport : Advertising archives : September 29, 2015

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

Are you in-the-know about which sources consumers turn to and trust when researching purchases? According to a new study from Experticity, an overwhelming number of marketers are wrong about which marketing activity consumers trust the most.

by Helen Leggatt

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."

Tags: advertising, marketing, study, word-of-mouth

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