CivicScience posed a question “Which of these (TV ads, social media ads, and Internet ads) do you believe has the most influence on what you buy, where you eat, or the movies or TV shows you watch?” to over 170,000 U.S. adults over a 24-month period, via polls running on hundreds on publisher websites. The result of this survey showed two main trends:
- TV’s influence on consumer behavior is shrinking
- Social media chatter shows strong influence
Moreover, the demographic characteristics of the group who are most influenced by TV advertisers are more “traditional”: they tend to be over age 45, watch more than 4 hours of TV daily, prefer traditional communication methods (phone calls), and do their majority of shopping in stores.
In contrast, the segment which says they’re influenced the most by social media comments has a slight female skew; they are more likely to be 18- to 29-years old; say they’re addicted to digital devices; and favor watching TV via DVRs. This is the group that advertisers need to focus on because these consumers pay close attention to peer recommendations, and sharing is only a click away.
However, this trend doesn’t lead to proclamations of an inevitable demise of TV advertising or doom for Internet advertising. Instead, as marketers, we have to better understand the segments which think they are influenced by TV and Internet ads the most, and develop appropriate strategies for these groups respectively. We cannot rely on social media solely, although it shows a very strong influence, we have to combine different media vehicles.
Here are two questions to consider:
- The influence of Internet ads increased slightly, but still very low. Why is it? In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of Internet ads?
- What are the characteristics of the products which you think should advise on social media?
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