Survey: Advertising’s Influence on Consumers


Kristen Herhold, Writer and Marketer, Clutch

Clutch, a research, ratings, and reviews firm in Washington, D.C., recently surveyed 1,030 consumers from across the U.S. and found that advertising influences 90 percent of consumers in their purchasing decisions.

While advertising influences almost all consumers, some mediums are more influential than others, especially TV.

TV is the only medium to influence the majority of consumers (60 percent); print is second at 45 percent, followed by online at 43 percent and social media advertisements at 42 percent.

Out-of-home, such as billboards and public transit advertisements (31 percent) and radio advertisements (30 percent) influence customers the least.

“Consumers feel that a company with a TV advertisement takes its marketing serious enough to spend money on this fairly expensive vehicle,” said Rob Albertson, managing director of Bandwidth Marketing. “TV powerfully combines visual and video elements to the message of an advertisement. When you can bring something to life visually, you’ve got a much greater chance of making a connection.”

In addition to being the most influential advertising medium, TV is also the most trustworthy; 61 percent of consumers say they trust TV advertisements to be honest in their messages. Print advertisements are a close second, with 58 percent of consumers trusting the medium.

The least trustworthy mediums are the newer forms of advertising: online and social media.

Online and social media advertisements are the least trustworthy because they are the most unregulated mediums.

“It’s relatively easy to take out some highly targeted ads on social media for very little money,” said Michael Ancevic, managing partner and chief creative officer of The Fantastical, an advertising agency with clients such as Samuel Adams, Mindbody, and Panera Bread. “Anyone can do it, so you have to look at everything with a level of skepticism. It’s also the most unregulated out of all of the media out there.”

Generational Differences in Views of Advertising

According to the survey, advertising influences millennials ages 18 to 34 more than older generations; 81 percent of millennials made a purchase because of an advertisement in the past 30 days, versus just 57 percent of Baby Boomers 55 and older.

TV advertisements influence every generation the most, and most mediums influence millennials more than other generations.

Online and social media advertisements influence the majority of millennials (58 percent), compared to just 22 percent of Baby Boomers.

Younger generations also trust each advertising medium more than their older counterparts.

Income Differences in Views of Advertising

The higher the household income that consumers have, the more influenced they are by advertising; advertisements influence 83% of consumers with a household income of more than $100,000.

When broken down by medium, those with an income of more than $100,000 are much more likely to make a purchase, no matter the medium they saw or heard the advertisement.

The Importance of Advertising

Although technology is continually changing, consumers remain influenced by advertising. Advertising influences 90 percent of consumers, and the 10 percent who are not influenced still interact with it, whether it’s through watching TV, browsing the internet, or reading a magazine.

Advertising remains a factor in consumers’ purchasing process, and it is important for companies to advertise in a variety of mediums to reach the most consumers possible.

Download the report here.

About the Author: Kristen is a content writer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B research firm in the heart of Washington, D.C. Connect with her on LinkedIn, or reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns at kristen(at)


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