Study shows newspapers drive purchase decisions


At Newspapers Canada, we undertook research to prove the power of newspapers in the consumer purchase decision funnel.

Research was conducted with 1,000 Canadian adults online by Totum Research, on behalf of Newspapers Canada to understand newspaper (print + digital) impact vs. other media on purchase decisions.

The study began in June 2013 and was designed to be representative of the population. The results are based on share of mentions. We looked at three stages in the purchase decision process and a combined total:

  • Absorbing: Occasionally see or hear information about suppliers or brands in media.

  • Planning: Use media to research suppliers or brands.

  • Obtaining: Ready to purchase and use media to decide where to go and which brand to buy.

  • Any involvement: Use media to help make a purchase decision, i.e. an aggregation of the three elements listed above.

The results are extremely powerful.

Newspapers are the top-ranked media source:

  • At every stage: Newspapers hold considerable sway at every stage of the purchasing continuum: absorbing, planning, and obtaining. All other media diminish in importance to the purchase decision the closer the consumer gets to obtaining. (The only exception is Web sites/going online, but not all online searches consist of advertising, making this an inconsistent comparison.)

  • In every category: Results are remarkably similar across key advertiser target groups and by category.

Chart 1 presents the results. It shows that newspapers are the medium most used to help make purchase decisions (see “Any involvement”). It also highlights the continued strength across all stages of the purchase decision process.

Chart 2 includes traditional media only. Among this set, newspapers stand out as dominant through each stage of the path to purchase. Furthermore, newspapers’ importance at the planning and obtaining stages is highlighted and is impressive!