New research has revealed that despite important changes in media consumption in recent years, consumers continue to have most trust in advertising in printed media. When asked how much trust they attach to advertising in the various media, consumers gave magazines and newspapers a score of 63%, TV 41% and Internet 25%. Consumers were also asked about the role of advertising in purchase decision making ‐ almost seven out of ten said that advertising in magazines and newspapers was most important in supporting purchase decisions. When asked to compare direct mail with social media almost 90% of respondents valued addressed and non‐addressed mail above social media.
The purpose of the research was to gain insight into the role of printed media in consumers’ everyday lives as well as gauge consumer attitudes towards advertising in different channels. The study was conducted by Finnish research institute VTT between April and August 2012 in 13 European countries. More than 700 consumers took part and the proportion of well-educated people was high, an interesting factor as these are the people who have the best possibilities to use a wide variety of media.
Anu Seisto who lead the research at VTT had this to say about the results: “This study provided very interesting information on the most important factors influencing the choice of media and attitudes towards advertising. The results show that lifestyle and family situation explain the choices better than demographic factors alone.”
The research, commissioned by Print Power Europe, covered nine media types (magazine, newspaper, TV, Radio, Internet, addressed Direct Mail, unaddressed Direct Mail, catalogue and Social media).
Respondents were presented with a series of different media use situations and were asked to comment on how well these stories described their own media use. Four distinct consumer segments emerged from this research, Slow bon vivants, Busy mix‐and‐matchers, Tolerant surfers and Youthful digilovers. The Slow bons vivants represent 23% of the respondents and are print users who associate digital media with their hectic working life. Busy mix‐and-matchers (46%) easily shift between digital and print media and appreciate print media. Tolerant surfers (19%) are digital media users with a positive attitude towards print media. Finally, Youthful digilovers, the smallest segment (12%), are pure digital users who do not see the benefit of using print media.
Although advertisers are shifting budgets towards digital channels, consumers continue to have the highest trust in print and refer to advertisements in magazines and newspapers as an important source of information to support their purchase decisions. A presentation of the research findings is available for download on the Print Power website www.printpower.eu.