Media professionals and consumers using internet for sharing information, market research

NOVEMBER 7, 2011 – Evolving technologies have created a number of challenges for market researchers as they work to understand a new class of consumer, and the onslaught of metrics and other data has proven especially difficult for publishers, BtoB Online reports.

According to the news outlet, those working in the media industry need to gain better insight into their audiences’ behaviors.

Advertisers are clamoring for faster results with measurement data. Leslie Darling, the senior vice president of digital innovation at Kantar Media Intelligence, was quoted by the source as saying that many in the advertising sector want to measure data and get their results faster, but that rush can be detrimental to accuracy.

“Where do you dance on the line, making sure the data that comes back has a sufficient sample behind it and is demographically distributed correctly?” Darling said. “We’re trying to come up with additional platforms to get data back to clients fast and in a format that can speak to the tools they’re developing to filter out different segments.”

The senior vice president of CNN’s ad sales research, Gregg Liebman, was also cited by the source, saying that moving into digital forms of communication and advertising has also presented the media with the task of proving the new channels are as effective and worthwhile as the traditional ones. He said advertisers sometimes use metrics as an excuse to stick to the usual, more comfortable methods, such as TV ads.

“It’s easiest to put a lot of dollars into TV ads; you don’t really have to justify that. Our advertisers are asking why they should support new products and services they’re not familiar with. They’re risk-averse,” he said. “Online, you know exactly who’s exposed to a particular ad, rather than just an average profile.”

While promoters have had to rethink their marketing strategies, studies indicate that the internet is influencing the way the average person researches information and shares their findings, with digital channels and social media websites playing a major role in the process.

An infographic from AdWeek, based on research from AddThis, shows that the later group processes 70 terabytes of data every week – exceeding the amount of data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope over the first two decades it was in use. The group also found that people share links by copying a website URL from the address bar and pasting into a message 10 times more often than they do by other forms of electronic sharing.

Companies can implement these and similar revelations to make their online content more visible and ensure that consumers are discovering digital content that is relevant to them.

StumbleUpon, a website that allows users to set up accounts and searches for webpages that match their preferences, says that its service influences more than half of U.S. social media traffic, with Facebook coming in at 37.4 percent, followed next by Reddit (4.26 percent) and Twitter (3.23 percent).

The site also noted that a popular link that is shared will, after a 24-hour period, get 83 percent more “stumbles,” while it will get no re-tweets on Twitter and only 5 percent more “likes” on Facebook.

Additionally, StumbleUpon said that the average page view on a website lasts about 58 seconds, while those pages viewed on its website will last a mean time of 72 seconds.