It’s long been understood that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, driving up to 50 percent of consumer sales. But can this influencer be influenced by media platforms? New research from nonprofit broadcast trade association TVB, in partnership with word-of-mouth specialist Engagement Labs, assesses and quantifies the role media platforms have in driving Americans’ conversations.
The top media influencer was television, particularly for daily news, entertainment and political conversations. Six of ten respondents said their political conversations were affected by TV.
The results couldn’t be clearer—if you’re a marketer, you can’t afford to underutilize TV, especially local broadcast TV, according to the firms’ newly released 2020 American Conversation Study.
Out of the 2,000 adults 18+ sampled, 68 percent reported being somewhat to very likely to share news from their local TV station. Fifty-eight percent of all respondents said they reference stories heard on local news in daily conversations; for home improvement and furniture opinion leaders this number rises to 72 percent. Seventy-one percent of financial and automotive opinion leaders said they refer to local news stories in daily conversations.
The study also revealed interesting data when it comes to believability and trust. Local broadcast TV news was number one for both believability and trust, cited by 81 percent of respondents. Of all media, Americans trust social content the least (31 percent), with three out of five respondents reporting that “fake news” is the most prevalent on social media. In addition, only 59 percent said they trust cable news.
“Television has great impact on American conversations,” said Hadassa Gerber, chief research officer at TVB, the organization behind local TV’s shift to impressions-based buying, in a news release. “In a world dominated by ‘fake news,’ it’s imperative that advertisers associate with a believable and trusted platform—local broadcast TV, the trust medium.”