Nine Online Trends For Your Business
A new report concludes that the Internet is the most influential media channel when it comes to driving consumer decisions about products and services. The 2010 Digital Influence Index, released by Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive, outlines nine key insights business owners should understand about the Internet’s influence on consumers’ lives.
Nine online trends every business should know:
1. Funding Gap: Globally, digital dominates in influence but not marketing dollars spent. The Internet is by far the most important medium in the lives of consumers, but companies continue to underinvest in their online marketing efforts.
2. On the Edge: Chinese Internet users are more advanced, and are early adopters, with room to grow. Although the Internet is the most important medium in all countries, it plays an even more critical role in China, home to the world’s largest and fastest-growing population of online consumers.
3. Beyond Mainstream: Digital is core to decisions — for research, purchases and peer influence. The Internet plays an integral role in the decision-making process.
4. Too Much Information (TMI): Online oversharing of personal information isn’t just a bore, but a rising threat, as well. As more users embrace social media and generate content, a consensus is emerging — people share too much personal information, and too little of it is particularly interesting.
5. Cautiously Trusting: People trust the Internet most when they have multiple sources — and a friend is one of them.
6. Pay to Play Doesn’t Play: Trust in bloggers for hire remains weak. Across all countries studied, Internet users report a lack of trust in content produced by sponsored or paid bloggers.
7. Real-Time Trust: Microbloggers trust companies that listen and respond in real time. Users who have adopted microblogging tend to trust companies that monitor their online activity. They seem to view this online listening as a sign that organizations care about their needs and want their feedback.
8. Mobility Gap: As apps multiply and speeds increase, mobile users snap up smartphones — but realize only a fraction of their potential. Although mobile Internet use is growing, a significant gap exists between the capabilities available to mobile phone users and the number of individuals who actually take advantage of them.
9. Where to From Here?: As Internet use continues to grow, will its influence grow, too? Depends who you ask. As important as the Internet is now, will its consumer influence continue to grow in the future? The answer varies from country to country … but in China it is a resounding “yes!”
To read an in-depth analysis on all nine insights, visit digitalinfluence.fleishmanhillard.com.