Print in the Mix

Mix of Media Used in Purchasing Decisions

Neutral, informal word-of mouth communication on behalf of a preferred brand or vendor can have a significant, far-reaching impact on consumers looking to make a purchase, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

The survey found that when it comes to getting information to help them with purchase decisions, American adults of all ages use a mixture of traditional media and means (face-to-face, print advertising, phone calls) and online media (company Websites, review-oriented Websites). Social media was the least frequently cited source for purchase decision information.

The most frequently identified methods of gathering information were:

• Using a company Website (36 percent)

• Face-to-face with a salesperson or other company rep (22 percent)

• Face-to-face with a person not associated with the company (21 percent)

Other frequently mentioned methods or sources were:

• Advertising in print media (19 percent)

• Independent Websites that have reviews (19 percent)

• Phone call to the company (16 percent)

Only 4 percent of respondents reported using social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn) to gather purchase decision information.

To read this Print in the Mix Fast Fact and additional print market research studies, go to Print in the Mix is a free and easily accessible clearinghouse of research on print media effectiveness, published by the Printing Industry Center at RIT and made possible by a grant from The Print Council (

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