Online media habits are changing, diverging

To start 2015 I’ll focus on online media for a while to enable both managers and Boards to better understand how-mid-decade- advertising is changing.

This change is led by technology- both hardware and software- and both brand owners and agencies are struggling to keep up. And while there are a few brands and agencies surfing the wave of new media habits, the vast majority of us languish in traditional-media unaware of how fast things are changing.

An interesting paper I have just ready by analysts A T Kerney surveys the Internet habits of consumers around the world. It shows increased internet connectivity, but divergent usage of and attitudes to online media.

The findings of the study are fascinating and at times counter-intuitive.

Here’s the quick view:

Continuous connectivity.


The Internet has for most consumers now become a 24-7 activity.

More than half of the survey respondents—already chosen because they are  regular users of the Internet—say that they are connected to the Internet nearly every waking hour. On a country-by-country basis, we find Brazil and Nigeria more connected, and Japan and China less so. How as a brand and advertiser can you take advantage of this connectivity?

Four motivations for connectivity.


People go online because it meets four basic, universal needs: interpersonal connection, self-expression, exploration, and convenience.

But respondents from different countries were more motivated by different factors. For example in emerging markets and places where offline expression is limited, the ability to express an opinion rates very highly; in more mature markets, exploration and convenience matter more. Does you media planning across countries take advantage of that?

The power of social media.

Social networks are the places where connected consumers spend the largest amount of their time online.

Social networks and social marketing are very effective in generating brand interest and purchases among younger consumers. However, the number of users on a social network is not necessarily an indication for engagement or, importantly, purchases. Furthermore, different social media sites display different usage patterns in different countries.

For example comparing the US with China…



Pop-up ads’ surprising effectiveness—but only in some markets.

In some emerging markets, particularly Brazil, China, and Nigeria, pop-up ads and banners are surprisingly effective. Respondents from those three countries say they don’t mind the ads and often click on them to see what’s up. In Western Europe and the United States, these ads are far less effective.

The convergence of physical and online stores.

While most purchases today are still made in store, more than half of the survey respondents say they prefer shopping online as well as the online experience. Connectivity does not mean that consumers do everything online, but being connected offers access, speed, and convenience, and enhances the overall the experience to those purchases that don’t need personal interaction.



And here’s a quick snapshot of who were surveyed and where


To read the report, click here

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