Consumers Trust Online News for Purchase Decisions
This is the second of two posts related to our new quarterly consumer research pulse. Starting this quarter, we’ll be fielding brief surveys of consumers to understand their perceptions of media and marketing. As with the last post from this quarter, the insights below are drawn from data from more than 2,000 U.S. adults 18 or older.
Where do consumers go to research and make purchase decisions?
Forty-two percent of respondents said that online news sites have the best information for researching a product or service. This was followed by social media (26%), television (20%), newspaper (7%), and radio (6%). Regarding best information for making a purchase decision, online news sites once again come out on top (35%).
For B2B, is it wise to invest marketing dollars in consumers’ social feeds?
Our survey suggests not necessarily. More than two thirds of consumers (69%) said they tend to disregard work-related stories or promotions that come up in their social feeds. For companies investing in influencer strategies, just over one third (36%) said that influencer adds in their feeds would lead to making a purchase decision or research more about it. For many marketers, however, these data might provoke optimism about tapping social channels for B2B, given how hard these audiences can be to reach. There’s clearly an opening if you’re disciplined and rely on data to thread the needle.
What’s the takeaway?
Online news sites, which our data suggest are the primary and still relatively trusted source for news, are also the go-to source for consumers to research and make purchase decisions. Likewise, social media, while not the most trusted source for news, is nonetheless important for research and purchase decisions, even for B2B in some cases. Regarding influencers, decisions to deploy paid strategies may be a coin flip: it may be worth the investment if the targeting – and, of course, the influencers, are spot on.
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