Word-of-mouth continues to be the number one way in which consumers’ purchasing choices are influenced, according to a recently released Deloitte survey.

In fact, word-of-mouth outpaced all forms of paid media with 8 out of 10 Americans aged 14 and over, indicating that word-of-mouth recommendations have a medium or high influence on consumer purchasing decisions. Within paid media, nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated that television is the greatest influencer.

Word-of-mouth recommendation influence:

  • Medium: 43 percent
  • High: 38 percent

The results, writes MarketingCharts, are similar to separate findings from a global Nielsen survey released in late 2013 in which TV was rated higher than all media when it came to buying influence. Still, word-of-mouth ranked top in this survey. A MarketingCharts study released in 2014 also found TV ads to be more influential among Americans when compared to all other paid medium. The study reviewed the differences by generation, household income, and education level.

In another survey, Nielsen discovered 58 percent of television commercials are viewed “during playback of time-shifted and video-on-demand content,” according to MarketingCharts; the other 42 percent are skipped. MarketingCharts data on TV advertising also revealed that so-called “media multi-taskers” are likelier to watch TV ads when compared to the average adult. Another study released by Innerscope Research revealed that, among 18-34-year-olds, TV ads create increased visual attention when compared to digital “pre-rolls” and also result in significantly more engagement when compared to Facebook video ads.

Other paid media, not including TV advertisements, that influence most of Deloitte’s survey respondents include:

  • In-theater advertising (pre-movie): 50 percent
  • Magazine ads: 46 percent
  • Newspaper: 41 percent
  • Radio: 37 percent
  • Emails: 37 percent
  • Social media ads: 31 percent
  • Celebrity endorsements: 25 percent

Mobile ads, regardless of the delivery mode ranked toward the bottom of the list, which is similar to the Nielsen survey results.

Emerging studies are hyping the efficacy of mobile video advertising. In fact, Google and Ipsos MediaCT research found that smartphone video viewers are likelier than TV viewers to take action following viewing of branded content or ads on their devices.


Consumers: W-O-M, TV Ads Have Broadest Purchase Influence; April 30, 2015; by MarketingCharts staff.

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