Inmar Intelligence | February 20, 2019

Gender Divide: New Survey Finds Celebrity "Star Power" Has More Influence Over Men than Women

Today, Collective Bias, Inc., the innovative leader in influencer marketing, and an Inmar company, released findings from a 2018 U.S. consumer survey on how celebrity endorsements and peer recommendations impact consumer purchasing decisions. The survey, fielded to 1,500 adults, found that 34 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by their peers, whereas only 3 percent are more likely to make a purchase based on celebrity influence. Other notable survey findings include the influence of peer recommendations over promotional codes and distinct differences between online channel preferences.

Of the 3 percent who said they are swayed by celebrity endorsements, more than half are men (56 percent) and 44 percent are women. Of that group of men, 54.6 percent reported that a "connection" matters and are more likely to purchase a product due to their personal admiration for a celebrity, with 45.4 percent of women indicating the same.

With the connection to a celebrity comes the agreement to spend more money. 63.8 percent of the men surveyed indicated that a celebrity could successfully persuade them to purchase an expensive product over and above a peer endorsement. Only 36.2 percent of women took the same position.

The Power of Peers and Promo Codes

While the survey found that men are more likely to purchase a celebrity-endorsed product, women tend to make purchasing decisions based on recommendations from their peers and the availability of promo codes. Of the respondents, 63 percent of women said they are more likely to consider a product endorsed by a peer and almost half (45.5 percent) said they are more likely to purchase a product if they had a promotional code. On the other side of the gender divide, 37 percent of men said they would make a purchase based on a peer recommendation and the same amount said they would be swayed with a promo code.

Not all Channels are Created Equal

While brand websites and product pages are important during the lifecycle of the online shopping journey, various online channels are proven to play a major role in the decision-making process. The survey found that nearly one in four online consumers have purchased a product as a result of reading a blog review or social media post about the product. Of those, 23.3 percent shared that Facebook has the most influence on their purchase decisions. On the other side of the spectrum, Instagram has the least amount of traction as a product research tool with only 13.9 percent of women and just 8.4 percent of men indicating that they use Instagram for product research.

Other notable channel findings include:

For men, YouTube (18.8 percent) and Facebook (18.5 percent) are the most influential channels when it comes to purchase decisions. This group also prefers YouTube for product research (41 percent).
Female respondents are decidedly more influenced by Facebook (26.3 percent) than YouTube (8.2 percent); however, 24 percent of women turn to YouTube for product recommendations.
Pinterest is the preferred research tool for women. Among survey participants, one in five women (20.1 percent) reported they use Pinterest for research while only 8.2 percent of men reported doing the same.
"Understanding the variables involved in the decision-making process of men versus women is incredibly important in today's competitive retail landscape," said David Mounts, Chairman and CEO of Inmar. "Preferences uncovered in this survey paint a picture of how brands and retailers can best leverage influencer marketing and promotional strategies and tactics to interact differently with men and women on preferred channels, ultimately driving sales and the largest ROI possible."

Additional survey results can be found here.

For more information about Collective, please visit

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Holly Pavlika
SVP, Corporate Marketing
(336) 770-3596