Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Connected Consumers Love Web 2.0, But Not On Mobile

Connected Consumers Love Web 2.0, But Not On Mobile
by Tameka Kee, Wednesday, Oct 3, 2007 6:00 AM ET
FINDINGS FROM A NEW AVENUE A|Razorfish study confirm that brands and advertisers aiming to reach "connected consumers" need to focus on targeting their niche with easily distributed, customizable, socially charged content--but not necessarily on their mobile phones.

This July, the creative division of Microsoft's aQuantive polled nearly 500 "connected consumers"--or online users over age 20 who had broadband access, visited socially oriented sites like MySpace or YouTube, and spent at least $200 online in the last calendar year.

The agency broke down the users into four age groups, ensured that they were geographically and economically diverse, and then asked them roughly 30 situational questions with the goal of understanding how they really used the tools and features of Web 2.0.

"One of our clients kept using the phrase 'Web 2.0' compliant--and we wanted to define what that meant," said Garrick Schmitt, editor of the report and vice president for user experience, Avenue A|Razorfish. "We do a lot of work on a site-by-site, case-by-case basis, but this is the first study we've done to see how consumers use these things in aggregate."

Not surprisingly, online video scored high, as an overwhelming majority of respondents (95%) had watched a video online within the past three months. Connected consumers watched both TV shows (72%) and movie trailers (85%) online--with some 36% saying that they watched a trailer online before going to the theater "most" or "all of the time." And nearly half (49%) of respondents added to the online video pool by uploading clips or movies.

The study also found that connected consumers were regular bloggers and blog readers. Some 70% of respondents read blogs on a regular basis, with weekly and daily readers (32% and 29%, respectively), as the top frequencies. Nearly half (46%) of all respondents read four or more blogs regularly, while 41% actually wrote or posted frequently to blogs.

Connected consumers also relied on peer influence for online shopping purposes--with some 55% saying that they relied on user reviews "the most" when it came to purchase decisions. In contrast, just over 20% said the same about expert reviews or product comparison charts.

Personalized recommendations also drove online sales, with 62% of users purchasing a product that a company like suggested based on past purchases. Some 72% of respondents found these recommendations helpful--and two-thirds said that they were not concerned about privacy when it came to receiving them.

Customization of content and interface is key, as some 60% of connected consumers choose to personalize their start pages with "specific content feeds, scheduled updates or other features," and 56% subscribe to an RSS feed with some regularity. More than a third (35%) of consumers used Google as their start page, with about a quarter (24%) choosing to start at Yahoo, and 10% using either AOL or MSN.

Mobile multimedia usage was the one area that lacked strong penetration--even with connected consumers--as the majority (64%) said they never used their mobile phone to "check weather, news or sports headlines." Similarly, 76% never used mobile to watch video, 68% said the same for listening to music, and 58% had never used their phone to check email. Some 53% of connected consumers, however, had used their phones to take photos and then share them on the Web.

Tameka Kee can be reached at

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