There is a lot of discussion taking place in terms of what methods consumers use in order to find products and services online. In fact there are so many different viewpoints it’s become more difficult for businesses or organizations to decide upon which direction to go next in their online marketing efforts.
Today I came across a rather interesting article/survey from The Nielsen Company (“Social Media: The Next Great Gateway for Content Discovery?“) which discusses the approaches that consumers are currently using to find information online. Basically it highlights much of what we’ve talked about in our blog about Online Consumer Behavior and how consumers find information based on their habits and behaviors when it comes to doing online research.
This survey shows that over 71% of online users look for information by using either a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), or by browsing via a portal like Yahoo, AOL, MSN, etc. Currently only 4% use a Social Network like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc., to get more information.
The interesting aspect of this survey is that it highlights the fact that many people feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they see online, so much so that they many turn to their online friends for suggestions and information. This survey asked three groups of people for feedback on the following statement, “There is too much information Online”. 26% of people who identified themselves as “Socializers” found this statement to be true. Only 5% of people identified as “Searchers” found this to be true.
This begs the question that – as an online business/organization – do you know which approach your customers / clients use in order to find information about your products or services online? Are they using a Social Network to ask friends, or are they finding you and your products via Search or a Portal? The answer to this question should have a direct impact on where you focus your online marketing energies.
When you create an online marketing strategy, one of the first steps you should take is research in order to understand the online behavior and habits of your clients/customers. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be in a much better position to reach out to your future customers and clients via the most appropriate online marketing channel or channels.