Study: Don’t overestimate social marketing

Consumers have made it clear what type of marketing influences their purchase decisions, and it’s not always high-tech. According to a new study from branding network Experticity, 82% of marketers believe social media is extremely or somewhat effective in influencing buyer decisions, yet only 49% of consumers reported that they trust brand social media campaigns.

In addition, 83% of marketers believe traditional advertising is the most effective means of influencing buying decisions, but only 47% of consumers say they trust it.

The majority of consumers ranked one low-tech and one high-tech means of marketing as equally influential to their purchases. Consumers ranked family or friends and online reviews, at 72% each, as the most important sources when making a buying decision, followed by third-party experts (61%).

“Consumers clearly value interactions with credible, trustworthy people much more than traditional advertisements,” said Tom Stockham, CEO of Experticity. “Across the board, marketers are overvaluing traditional advertising and not placing nearly enough emphasis on actual people, ‹who, it turns out, are what actually impact consumers most.”

The study also shows the majority of marketers (between 78-86%) report their company is somewhat to extremely skilled in every marketing tactic listed in the survey, yet their confidence and priorities do not line up with what consumers respond to, showing marketers may not understand what really impacts buying decisions.

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