In this first egtabite of the year, we go to Switzerland, where Goldbach Media and the Electronic Media Interest Group (IGEM) recently conducted a study in cooperation with WEMF AG für Werbemedienforschung in which they compared the media usage of marketing and media professionals (‘ad people’) with that of the general population. The purpose was to present ad people with real figures showing whether their assumptions concerning general media usage differ from actual usage by the general population and how ad people use media differently.
Similarly to those markets where such studies were also carried out, the comparison revealed that ad people’s estimates are off by an average of 10 percentage points, as they use newer media, such as streaming services, social media and messenger services, to a much greater extent than the general population.
Ad people incorrectly estimate media usage
Over 650 individuals took part in the online survey, carried out in the autumn of 2021. The respondents were asked questions about their media usage habits as well as their assumptions about media usage in general. The questions about electronic media were taken from the IGEM Digimonitor questionnaire to provide a viable basis for comparing the responses with the survey of the general population on media usage. For print media usage, the MA Strategy was chosen as the comparison study.
Whilst the greatest difference between estimation and effective usage was found in the print segment, the extent of the underestimate by ad people was 18 percentage points for TV, or 1.1 million users out of the 8.7 million population in Switzerland. 94% of both groups use TV at least occasionally. However, the frequency of use among the general population (65%) is much greater than among ad people (42%). Ad people, on the other hand, use more time-shifted TV (85% use it at least occasionally) than the general population (72%).
Precisely the opposite was true for newer forms of media, in particular social media platforms. The professionals overestimated effective usage of TikTok by 19 percentage points, Instagram by 15 and LinkedIn by 9. The survey shows that ad people use media platforms intensively and are much more likely to use the platforms than the general public, especially Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
In short, the survey revealed that media usage among ad people, in some cases, differs considerably from that of the general population. Ad people use more media on average and while both groups exhibit quite heavy usage of traditional media (print, TV and radio), ad people use newer media (streaming services, social media, messenger service, etc.) to a much greater extend. The key insight from the study is that ad people incorrectly estimate media usage among the key population by an average of 10 percentage points, underestimating traditional media and overestimating newer media. The results, Goldbach says, once again highlight why it is worthwhile researching media usage and using the data as a basis for marketing decisions and media planning.