Consumer Technology Survey Reveals Fast-Growing Influence of Video Reviews, Social Media and Brand Ethics

By Matter

Annual report from Matter Communications shows stark changes in content consumption that demand diversification of mediums and media relations strategies

BOSTON – May 21, 2019 – Data released by Matter Communications – a Brand Elevation Agency specializing in PR, social media, creative services and digital marketing – revealed considerable year-over-year shifts in how shoppers learn about consumer technology products, the skyrocketing reliance on video and the value placed on social good. For the first time, social media has surpassed word of mouth when it comes to product awareness, the consumption of video product reviews has more than doubled and the vast majority of consumers care about brand values.

Matter’s 2019 Consumer Technology Survey reaffirms key digital marketing trends in PR, social and digital marketing, and uncovers how marketers can better capture the attention of an evolving marketplace. Key findings include:

Social Media Overtakes Word of Mouth

  • From 2018 to 2019, the number of consumers depending on friends and family to find out about personal technology products has plummeted by 21 percent — dropping from 71 percent in 2018 to 56 percent this year
  • At the same time, the number of consumers using social media to find out about personal technology products has increased 119 percent (26 percent to 57 percent)
  • Among shoppers aged 18 to 29, 75 percent rely on social content to discover consumer technology products. Other top sources for initial product awareness are:
    • Television (42 percent)
    • Online tech sites, like CNET, PCMag, The Verge, etc. (36 percent)
    • Lifestyle magazines and sites, like GQ, Buzzfeed, Men’s/Women’s Health, etc. (17 percent)

Reliance on Video Content Continues to Rise

  • Consumers using video sources, like YouTube, as a source for product recommendations and reviews has more than doubled from 2018 (38 percent vs. 18 percent)
  • Shoppers aged 18 to 29 are almost 3 times as likely to consult YouTube compared to consumers over 30
  • Once purchased, 71 percent of consumers watch how-to videos for instruction, a 44 percent increase over 2018.
  • Other types of video content consumers watch include:
    • Product hack/tip videos (39 percent)
    • Video product reviews (39 percent)
    • Unboxing videos (21 percent)

Social Good Fuels Purchase

  • 70 percent of survey respondents consider a company’s commitment to a variety of “socially beneficial” initiatives when making a purchase decision. Specifically, consumers care that brands demonstrate the following values:
    • Sustainable and ethical sourcing (50 percent)
    • Proceeds being donated to charity (43 percent)
    • Valuing diversity and inclusion (42 percent)
    • Taking a stand on social and/or political issues (30 percent)

“This year’s survey reconfirmed trends on what dictates consumer tech purchases – 83% of consumers check online reviews before buying, for example, and video review formats are twice as popular as they were at this time last year. Knowing this, brands need to be sure compelling video content and a targeted, multimedia review program are core program elements,” says Michael Byrnes, vice president at Matter. “They also need to be sure they have a partner that knows how to create and amplify this content, helping customers make an informed purchase, and eventually turning them into brand advocates. With Matter, you get a team with the industry experience and expertise perfectly positioned to help elevate your brand.”

Matter’s consumer technology expertise comes from years of partnerships with brands such as JBL, Sylvania, HTC and more. From robust influencer campaigns to product launch events, Matter has executed a vast range of marketing tactics to help brands reach consumers. To learn more about Matter’s experience in the consumer technology industry, check out our website, or get in touch. To view additional stats from Matter’s Consumer Technology survey, view the infographic here.

With more than 180 professionals across offices in Boston and Newburyport, MA, Providence, RI, Pittsburgh, PA, Boulder, CO, and Portland, OR, Matter is one of the fastest-growing public relations, social media, creative and digital marketing firms in the country. Matter has won 12 “Agency of the Year” accolades in the past three years and has been recognized as a best place to work.

Survey Methodology: Matter collected responses from 1,000 US-based consumers in April 2019 via a third-party provider to determine the findings of its 2019 Consumer Technology Survey.

About Matter Communications
Matter is a Brand Elevation Agency unifying public relations, social media, creative services, and search and digital marketing into strategic, content-rich communications campaigns that inspire action and build value. Founded in 2003, with six offices spanning North America, Matter works with the world’s most innovative companies across healthcare, high-technology, consumer technology and consumer markets. For more information, please visit:

Erin Brooks