Posted March 10, 2008 5:31 pm by with 4 comments

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I’m guessing that not too many of our readers will need convincing that the Internet and various forms of online media are a good way to appeal to customers. But just in case you wanted some numbers proving that, BIGresearch has published the latest Simultaneous Media Survey results, which show how influential consumers find (or think) various media are. (Consumers surveyed were adults (over the age of 18).)

Traditional media strong but falling

Traditional media encompasses all the “old school” marketing methods, from word of mouth to product placement to television to print. Most of these methods still show that many consumers still rank traditional media as influential in their purchase decisions.

Of the top ten most often mentioned media, only one of those was considered a “new media” (you get to guess which one):

  • Word of Mouth (42.60%)
  • Read Article on Product (34.30%)
  • Newspaper Inserts (30.50%)
  • TV/Broadcast (27.90%)
  • Instore Promotion (27.40%)
  • Magazines (24.70%)
  • Coupons (23.10%)
  • Direct Mail (22.50%)
  • Internet Advertising (22.40%)
  • Newspaper (21.80%)

However, of these ten, half showed a drop in year-over-year scores. Another three showed an increase of 0 to 1%.

Perhaps most devastating is the list of media, new and old, with static or decreasing YOY scores, some in the double digits:

  • Word of Mouth (0.00%)
  • Outdoor Billboards (-0.90%)
  • Newspaper (-1.20%)
  • Internet Advertising (“new”) (-1.40%)
  • Magazines (-3.70%)
  • Newspaper Inserts (-4.50%)
  • Satellite Radio (“new”) (-6.90%)
  • Video on Cell Phone (“new”) (-10.60%)
  • TV/Broadcast (-13.90%)
  • Cable (-14.40%)

Internet advertising falling
Interestingly, Internet advertising fell slightly YOY, though overall 22.4% of respondents said it was influential. It was the only “new” media to make the top 10 most influential list.

Other media show increase
The five fastest-growing media are mostly “new” media:

  • Instant Messaging (Computer) (7.50%, up 22.00% YOY)
  • Blogging (6.10%, up 21.50% YOY)
  • Web Radio (6.20%, up 14.40% YOY)
  • Product Placement (“traditional”) (13.90%, up 10.20% YOY)
  • Email Advertising (21.50%, up 9.20% YOY)

However, it’s important to note that a very small score is easy to increase by double digits. For example, instant messaging was the medium growing the fastest in influence, with a 22% YOY increase. However, because only 7.5% of respondents cited IM this year, we can interpret that about 6.15% of respondents named IM last year—an increase of 1.35 percentage points. Blogging and web radio’s growth are even smaller.

Even the growth of product placement and email advertising don’t show very much change. Using the same method as above, we can infer that email advertising increased in influence by 1.83 percentage points; product placement by 1.29 percentage points. So really, it appears, there isn’t a whole lot of change going on in consumers’ perceptions of media influence.


  • Yeah pretty interesting. I’d like to see a few different surveys – 1 with non internet users, 1 with adamant users and 1 mixed with both. I wonder which group the respondents of this survey would fit into, but this seems like it could accurately represent consumers as a whole.

  • I wonder how accurate these surveys really are. They are after all, the views of a small minuscule of the entire population.

  • Services like NowPublic make this thing possible.

  • Jordan McCollum

    This survey monitors 15,000 consumers. To have a margin of error of +/-4% and a 95% confidence level for the adult population of the United States, you only have to survey 600 people (random sampling). That’s what statistics are all about.

    ‘Minuscule’ as a noun means a lower case letter.