How US consumers spend their time online has shifted significantly in the past five years, according to Online Publishers Association (OPA) data presented in the Digital Marketing Factbook recently published by MarketingProfs.
Five years ago, US consumers spent 42% of their online time on communications-related activities such as reading and sending email, whereas now they spend only 27% of their time doing so, according to the OPA data cited in the Factbook.
· In addition to devoting more of their online time to community sites, consumers today are spending more time on content sites and search, and less time on commerce sites, than they were in 2004.
· As for what specific activities US adults perform online today:
—90% send or read emails
—88% use search engines
—76% check the weather
—75% buy a product
—72% get news
—66% to make or buy a travel reservation
—60% to look for news or information about politics
(According to April 2009 data from the Pew Internet & American Life project included in the Factbook.)
- Search marketing delivers the best results (33%); search and email still constitute the core of a solid online media plan.
- Nearly everyone uses email, and this medium is repeatedly ranked as one of the most cost-effective (and effective) forms of marketing. Elsewhere in the Factbook, almost 50% of 623 email marketers report that sending emails at midday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is the best time of day to do so. The start of the business day (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) is considered second best at 31.5
- Mobile marketing is barely on the radar; it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years with mobile.
About the data: The MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Factbook, designed to be a comprehensive source of data and research for online marketers, includes chapters on email, search, and social media—with 144 pages of findings, including 110 charts and graphs from 60+ sources.
Photo credit: extranoise
BIO: Ann Handley is an 11-year veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. Currently, Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, which provides strategic and tactical marketing know-how for marketing and business professionals through a full range of online media and live events. She also blogs at her acclaimed personal web log.