Print ads in newspapers, magazines are most trusted ad channels for purchase decisions


MarketingSherpa asked 2,400 U.S. consumers: "In general which type of advertising channels do you trust more when you want to make a purchase decision? Please sort the options into 'Ads I trust' and 'Ads I don't trust that much' categories."

More than four out of five Americans (82 percent) trust print ads (newspaper, magazines), while 80 percent trust TV ads. Online pop-ups were only trusted by a quarter of Americans.

When discussing channel selection for marketing and advertising campaigns, the idea that consumers no longer trust mainstream media always seems top-of-mind, according to MarketingSherpa. So, when the firm built its Customer Satisfaction Study, it decided to ask American consumers about their preferences. Click on the video below to see what 2,400 people said:

Of the 13 channels surveyed, the top five channels were all traditional channels, and the bottom eight channels were all digital channels. Search engine ads (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) were the most trusted digital channel (61 percent).

The MarketingSherpa article, "Marketing Chart: Which advertising channels consumers trust most and least when making purchases," includes the full data along with an analysis.

"This consumer attitude presents a challenge for digital marketers," said Daniel Burstein, senior director of editorial content, MarketingSherpa. "Some of the elements of digital marketing that make the channel so popular – its trackability, targeting and low cost thanks to greater inventory – are also its Achilles' heel compared to traditional advertising. While the vaunted New York Times features 'All the News That's Fit to Print,' digital content pretty much just stops at 'All.' There's very high value online content – even most print publications publish online as well – but that real value is drowning in a sea of mediocrity or worse, and as a whole, it damages consumers' trust."

"So digital marketers must be careful with their media buying. But they must also ensure their digital advertising has a credible value proposition and follows a customer-first marketing approach that attracts – instead of alienating – consumers."

The data is from the MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research study of 2,400 consumers, sampled to reflect a close match to the U.S. population's demographics, and conducted in September and October 2016 during the planning of MarketingSherpa Summit 2017's content. Half of the respondents (1,200) were asked to reflect on their experiences with a specific brand with which they are highly satisfied along with companies they were satisfied with in general, and the other half (1,200) were questioned about a brand with which they are not satisfied and companies they are unsatisfied with in general. The responses of these two groups were then compared and contrasted against each other. The respondents from each age group, the Silent Generation (71-93), Baby Boomers (52-70), Generation Xers (34-51) and Millennials (18-35) were nearly evenly split between the paired surveys.

View the entire study at

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