Geoff Ramsey, the co-founder and CEO of eMarketer, recently shared 0.001% of the information that his team of researchers and analysts knows about Internet market trends during his morning keynote at Electronic Retailer's LiveEdit Lab.
Why can I be so precise?
He presented 60 slides out of the 54,000 charts available to eMarketer's subscribers. You do the math.
Now, I'm not going to try recapping all 60 of his slides here.
Instead, I'm going to highlight three key market trends that Ramsey touched on. Plus, I'll pass along his analysis of how each of these new trends is profoundly affecting the business landscape.
The first market trend that is worth highlighting is the percentage of Internet users who are watching video online monthly.
According to eMarketer, it's 73% – or 137 million Americans. And by the end of the year, eMarketer estimates that 154 million, or 80% of Internet users, will be watching online video.
About a year ago, I reported on a survey conducted by PR News and Medialink which found that “PR pros aren't using online video as often as they're watching it.”
Well, they better start using it now. Online video isn't an emerging market trend. It's already emerged – big time!
Ramsey said, “Online video is a great way to engage with your customers.” And he recommended:
• Placing video footage of your products on your Web site (e.g., create a video demo!);
• Placing video ads on other content video sites, e.g., on YouTube and product category-related sites; and
• Creating your own Webisodes – content so entertaining that people will come to watch it (and share it with others).
The second market trend that deserves serious attention is the percentage of large companies that already have a blog. According to JupiterResearch, it's 34%.
Last August, at Search Engine Strategies San Jose, I caused a stir in the blogosphere when I said, “Getting excited that you've got a blog is like getting excited that “the new phone book's here!'”
Now, less than a year later, it appears that if your company doesn't have a blog already, it's going to feel even more like Steve Martin in “The Jerk.”
Ramsey said, “Advertisers should explore creative ways to leverage the power of blogs.” And he advised:
• Monitoring the blogosphere not only with professional services, but also on your own;
• Working with existing relevant bloggers, in ways that will encourage them to link to your site;
• Placing advertising on popular blogs; and
• Creating your own blogs -- to create a community of interest around your product.
While the third market trend didn't surprise me, it may come as a shock to some others in the industry.
A survey by AdMedia Partners found that 69% of senior media execs think social media is “over-hyped.” (I should disclose that AdMedia Partners is a client.)
And Hitwise has validated this skepticism by reporting that only 4% of US online retail traffic is driven by social sites, which is significantly less than the 29% of online retail traffic that is driven by search engines.
So, what's a marketer to do? Ramsey outlined four strategies for gaining consumer insights into social networking:
• Looking, listening, lounging and learning;
• Advertising on the big social networking portals, e.g., MySpace and Bebo;
• Getting vertical with your social advertising on smaller, niche sites like Flip.com; and
• Building your own social network, e.g., Procter & Gamble's Capessa community site.
Now, six slides out of 60 are only 10% of Ransey's presentation. And that's just 0.0001% of the information that eMarketer knows about Internet market trends.
So, you may want to dig deeper. Nobody wants to be the last one on the block to spot key market trends.