For its Trustworthiness in Advertising study, Trustpilot, a consumer review website, questioned more than 2,000 consumers in the US and UK about how responsive they felt when five types of digital advertising were tested.
Nearly a third of respondents cited search advertising (30.7%) and weekly marketing emails (30.3%) as the most likely to influence their purchase decisions, although targeted ads on social media came close with 29.6%.
Meanwhile, around a quarter of consumers opted for sponsored ads on websites or social media (25.6%) as well as commercials for products/services during online streaming (24.8%).
However, there were some marked differences in attitude between men and women, particularly regarding targeted ads on social media – a finding that also applied to differences between American and British consumers.
Looking at the results in more detail, the same proportion of men and women (30.7%) agreed that search advertising was most effective at influencing their purchase decisions, but just 24.9% of men cited targeted ads on social media compared to a third of women (33.1%).
Similarly, US consumers were more open to targeted ads on social media (31.8%) compared to their British counterparts (27.4%), who were less trusting of this form of advertising.
Americans were also notably more responsive to commercials for products/services during online streaming (31.5%) and sponsored ads on websites or social media (29.3%) than British consumers (17.9% and 22% respectively).
That said, responses depended to some extent on regional perspectives, which Trustpilot also tested.
For example, in the US, the Northeast and South regarded targeted ads on social media as especially effective – just like consumers in Greater London, Scotland and Yorkshire in the UK – while the western states were preferred sponsored content.
Elsewhere, around three-quarters of US and UK consumers valued being made aware of a good deal (77.5% versus 75.9%), the No. 1 reason for choosing to buy from an ad.
And, in both the US and UK, around six in ten people said the inclusion of both pros and cons was a key indicator of the quality of online reviews.
Sourced from Trustpilot; additional content by WARC staff