We’ve all heard the reports about the death of traditional media. So what does it mean when a format like TV influences over half of consumers to make a purchase? New research shows that marketers have to be careful not to move all of their ad budgets into digital channels just yet.

ExactTarget has just updated its channel preference survey and the findings make for good reading. TV media providers will be happy to know that 53% of consumers have been influenced by a TV ad to purchase a product or service in the past year. Comparable figures for other media formats are:

  • Newspaper ads 32%
  • Magazine ads 30%
  • Website ads 18%
  • Radio ads 16%
  • Billboards 8%
  • YouTube 8%

TV media providers can’t rest on these numbers because consumers are definitely paying attention to other media formats. And the narrative provided by this survey runs concurrent with age demographics.

Older adults, age 65+ and avid TV viewers, actually rely more on newspaper ads (47%) than TV (45%). These folks also say direct mail (85%) is more likely to influence their purchase behavior than email (65%).

For now, 59% of 15-17 year-olds, 25-34 year-olds and 45-54 year-olds  say that TV ads influence them. At the same time, YouTube ads are making a difference for teens between the ages of 15-17. Here are the influence statistics for that age group:

  • YouTube 22%
  • Website ads 19%
  • TV infomercials 16%
  • Radio ads 12%
  • Billboards 9%

There still seems to be a disconnect regarding the amount of time consumers spend with a specific media format and the influence that ads in those formats have over purchases. Consumers are spending a lot of time on Facebook. But, only 24% of 18-24 year-olds note that a Facebook message has influenced them to buy, while 50% note that direct mail marketing has set them on the purchase path for a specific product or service.

To play it safe, marketers must constantly monitor findings like these and adjust their strategies according to the specific audiences they seek to connect with.

[Source: 2012 Channel Preference Survey. Exacttarget.com. 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2012]