Traditional marketing more influential than digital advertising and social media

Impact of advertising on mobile devices and social networks is minimal.

Research released today by Steria reveals that despite the apparent growth in digital advertising, physical advertising still exerts a greater influence when it comes to consumer purchasing decisions.

The research, conducted by YouGov, revealed the limited influence of paid-for digital advertising compared to traditional forms of marketing. In-store advertising was cited as an influence on purchasing decisions by 28% of respondents, while newspaper and magazine adverts were identified by 27%. In comparison, 18% were influenced by online advertising, 9% by ads on social networks while the figure for mobile ads was just 7%.

However, while advertising on social media failed to exert much influence over respondents, recommendations from friends did. The research found that it is human opinions that count most for our purchasing decisions – the views of friends were seen as the most influential factor, chosen by 57% of respondents, while 40% of respondents said they were even influenced by people they don’t know, whether they heard the views in person or saw them online.  If broken down by age, this figure was significantly higher from those respondents aged 18 to 24 (54%) and 25 to 34 (58%), indicating a significant generational shift from those aged 55 and over. In this age category, only 26% said they were influenced by people they don’t know, with a clear majority (71%) saying that strangers exerted little or no influence over their purchasing decisions.

Geraint Evans, multichannel director at Steria said: “Rather than suggest that we replace one sort of marketing with another, today’s findings illustrate just how versatile the modern marketer has to be. Consumer buying behaviour differs greatly depending on factors like age, location and gender. Companies wishing to get an edge over the competition will need to show a clear understanding of both online and offline channels, and how consumers best respond to them.  Part of this means providing appropriate tools and functionality to make the shopping experience as quick and easy as possible.”