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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Digital Outlook 2008

Digital agency Avenue A Razorfish just released their 2008 Digital Outlook Report (note: this is a 164-pdf) this week. This annual report tracks consumer behavior in the digital space and includes reports on media spending, mobile web usage, social influence marketing, search, and behavioral targeting.

Thoughts// Digital technology has empowered consumers with the ability to access the content they’re interested in, at a time, place and device of their choosing. If you're in the business of building an emotional relationship with consumers in this tough environment, this report makes for an interesting read. Some of the things outlined in the report include:

  • The relevancy of homepages: Search, social networking, blogs and RSS have reduced the impact of the traditional "homepage"; some major properties are reporting that 50-75% of their traffic someplace other than the "homepage". Every page is a homepage and every page on your site must offer an opportunity to make a compelling impact on consumers.

  • Connectivity: Consumers don't see a distinction between their online and offline lives; in fact, they expect a "seamless transition" between them; thus digital technology is a life management tool not simply a utility.

  • Social Media Fragmentation: Interviews with the "digital class" (consumers 18-34) show that they're not just using new technology, social, and communication platforms—but they’re using them voraciously to express different sides of themselves. Consumers are are leveraging digital tools to show who they are, where they fit, what they think, and what they think of others; the digital context of the site or the social network plays a critical part in
    determining which part of themselves they show.


Susan Black said...

This 164-page document is a compilation of data and analysis. Great stuff here. Here are just a few call-outs that are relevant for Travel 2.0 marketers:
Avenue A/Razorfish's 2007 Media billings totaled $735 Million, up 36% from 2006.
There was a shift away from spending money in portals to Verticals (including travel) and search engines
Advertisers want to work with a broader range of vertical sites -- the number of sites that Avenue A placed ads with more than doubled to 1,832 websites in 2007 from 863 media properties in 2006.
In 2007, CPM from vertical sites rose 30% on average (compared with a 7% rise in portal CPM). Clearly, a more qualified audience is required by advertisers!
Travel vertical advertising was 10.7% of the pie, and Community rose to a whopping 18.5% -- the highest slice of the pie, experiencing meteoric growth in ad spending. (More than 50% growth year over year)
Social networks and video sharing sites (Community and entertainment) have immature advertising models. As the models mature, expect enormous growth in these two categories in 2008 and beyond.
Advertising by Avenue A on travel vertical sites rose from $20 mm in 2006 to $25 mm in 2007 - a 20% rise.
The Weather Channel continues to exhibit best practices, and was named "Publisher of the Year" East.
According to the "Avenue A/Razorfish Digital Consumer Behavior Study" conducted in 2007, 56% of consumers use RSS feeds and 60% actively customize their home pages.
Publishers need to adopt "traffic distribution" as a key site metric (page 38) 65% of all traffic should originate from someplace other than the site's homepage.
Every page should be treated and designed like the homepage (including prominent advertising inventory everywhere)
Distribute content widely and freely. Distribute content through syndication, promotion form social networks, linkage from blogs and other viral means. Every page should offer a Web 2.0 toolbar to enable RSS feeds.
Performance should be tracked across all digital touchpoints. This includes RSS feeds, email subscriptions, widget downloads, podcast downloads, blog linkage, and video consumption.

Troy said...

Wonderful comments Susan, thank you. The points on traffic distribution and performance are spot on, and something that we have been talking about for a while on the blog.

Keep those comments coming!