IAB Analysis Shows Digital Media Are a Vital Influence on Consumer Electronics Purchases

Internet Advertising Is the Second Most Influential Mass Medium in Electronics Purchases

IAB Launches ‘InsightCenter’ – Free Member Resource for Consumer Insights Powered by BIGinsight

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released “The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases,” an in-depth analysis revealing that an interplay of media buys—including digital—is necessary to effectively influence people who are intending to purchase consumer electronics.

Examining consumers who said that they preferred to buy consumer electronics in “Discount Stores,” “Specialty Stores” or on the “Internet” showed that all three groups are influenced by a variety of media, over-indexing against the U.S. average on internet advertising and social media across the board. In fact, among the mass media, internet advertising is second only to broadcast television networks in influence, surpassing magazines, newspapers, direct mail and radio.

Please tell us which of the following media influences your ELECTRONICS purchases: (Mass Media)
Adults 18+ “Discount Store” “Specialty Store” “Internet”
TV/Broadcast 27.7% 31.1% 33.2% 28.5%
Internet Advertising 26.1% 27.7% 30.1% 35.7%
Email Advertising 25.3% 24.9% 29.3% 35.9%
Direct Mail 22.4% 22.6% 23.5% 20.4%
Magazines 19.7% 18.4% 22.5% 26.8%
Cable 18.9% 20.5% 22.2% 20.0%
Newspaper 18.9% 18.6% 22.2% 17.0%
Radio 17.5% 18.8% 18.1% 13.4%
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) 14.2% 16.4% 15.7% 14.4%
Source: Media Behaviors & Influence(TM) Study, DEC-11

“Broadcast, cable, newspapers, and other media certainly play a role in influencing shoppers seeking consumer electronics, but the diversity of media it takes to truly reach buyers is eye-opening,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB. “A close look at the findings reveals that digital is a key part of the ad buy puzzle when it comes to selling electronics. Most consumers who are in the market for HDTVs, home audio set-ups and the like are clearly a tech savvy group, and that fact needs to be kept top-of-mind when trying to reach them as they consider their next major purchase.”

Additional findings include:

  • Coupons – With “Specialty Store” electronics shoppers leading the pack (69%), all three groups over-indexed on declaring email coupons to be a compelling retail motivator (“Internet” 68% vs. “Discount Store” 62% vs. U.S. population 60%). Web coupons were also cited as a strong driver among all three, headed by “Internet” electronics shoppers (65%), with the other two groups over-indexing as well (“Specialty Store” 61% vs. “Discount Store” 56% vs. U.S. population 53%).
  • Online Searching – Ad inserts are more likely to trigger an online search among “Specialty Store” (24%) and “Discount Store” (23%) electronics purchases, versus the general public (21%), and “Internet” buyers (19%). Newspaper is a much stronger search trigger for “Specialty Store” electronic shoppers (42%). After searching, all three over-index on being likely to communicate with others via social media (“Internet” 28% vs. “Discount Store” 25% vs. “Specialty Store” 24%) compared to the average U.S. consumer (21%).
  • Research Before Purchase – “Internet” electronics shoppers are much more likely to research products online before purchasing in a store, when compared to other shoppers (“Internet” 62% vs. “Specialty Store” 46% vs. “Discount Store” 36%).
  • QR Codes – “Internet” and “Discount Store” electronics purchasers are more inclined to have downloaded QR Code apps than their “Specialty Store” counterparts (“Internet” 55% vs. “Discount Store” 48% vs. “Specialty Store” 47%).

“The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases” was unveiled at the fifth IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, “Ecosystem 2.0: Beyond Time and Space” at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The report includes intelligence from the Media Behaviors & Influence Study from BIGinsight.

BIGinsight serves as a comprehensive source of information, providing marketers with the latest insights and knowledge regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media, and domestic and world issues.

“The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases” is the first of a series of consumer research reports that IAB plans to produce in conjunction with BIGinsight. The report also signals the debut of the IAB InsightCenter, a free online service for publisher members to access additional research data via the IAB web site. The series will include findings from BIGinsight’s monthly Consumer Survey, an ongoing survey that summarizes results from 8,500 interviews conducted each month since 2001, and the Media Behaviors & Influence Study which polls some 25,000 respondents twice a year.

“This research will be invaluable to publishers and marketers alike seeking to better understand the specific media influences that drive consumer decision-making behaviors,” said Mane. “Easy-to-use, it is sure to be a boon for our members who are always looking to have the latest information at their fingertips.”

“This InsightCenter can help marketers visualize trends in consumer media behavior and influence,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, BIGinsight. “It goes beyond point-in-time reports and instead delivers actionable insights in a customizable, graphical format.”

To download “The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases,” go to http://www.iab.net/insights_research.

To access the new IAB InsightCenter, please visit http://www.iab.net/iab_insights_center.


The Media Behavior and Influence Study was conducted online 10/26 – 12/30/11 with a sample size of 24,578 and a margin of error of +/- 0.6%.

About BIGinsight

BIGinsight delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, BIGinsight represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.BIGinsight.com

About IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

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