5 of the best digital media research reports

by Scott Hoffman on September 30, 2009

FeedFeed – Consumer Experience Report

Published by the bleeding edge digital agency Razorfish, this report is very comprehensive which is available for download here (warning: Big File). It is a compilation of smaller reports. Some of the best findings in the report are:

The massive amount of time users of Social media consume “the majority of respondents (75%) indicate they spend at least one hour a week on the properties, with a large number (19%) spending more than SEVEN hours a week on social networking sites

Consumers increasingly using Social Media to make buying decision “4 out of 10 consumers have made purchase decisions based on advertising they saw on a social media site, and 76% welcome advertising on social media”

strangersNext Thing Now – When did we start trusting strangers? How the internet turned us all into influencers
This report is from the Universal McCann group and entitled “When did we start trusting strangers” It is a 35 page PDF report Download Strangers (warning: Big File). It was written by Tom Smith who is the Head of Consumer Future. The report interviewed 17,000 people in 29 countries, and some of the most interesting findings for me are:

Anyone can influence anyone: “We now trust strangers as much as our closest friends.”

Friendship is no longer local or face to face: “It’s becoming distant and virtualised.”

Everybody is an influencer: The power to influence no longer belongs to the experts or “those in the know”. The idea that we live in a simplistic world where there is a small group of “influencers” who dictate the agenda to everyone else is no longer true thanks to social media and digital technology. We all share influence today whether we actively mean to or not.

New super influencers rise above the mass: Not all consumer influencers are equal. A new breed of “super influencers” has been created by the tools of the social media revolution.

frontpage-influenceThe Influential – New Approaches for Analyzing Influence on Twitter

Using a new methodology based on the content and responses of 12 popular users, the report determined measurements of relative influence on Twitter. This report, by the Web Ecology Project‘s Alex Leavitt
with Evan Burchard, David Fisher, & Sam Gilbert is very well done. A full copy can be downloaded here.

Some of the findings include:

Celebrities with higher follower totals (eg., THE_REAL_SHAQ and ijustine) foster more conversation than provide retweetable content.

News outlets, regardless of follower count, influence large amounts of followers to republish their content to other users.

MadlyTruly, Madly, Deeply Engaged – Global Youth, Media & Technology
This report was created in 2006 by the ad agency OMD in conjunction with Yahoo. and it examines the youth culture online, and how they can become passionate about certain brands. The reason that I included this report, entitled “truly, madly, deeply engaged” is it provides a timeline for how consumers can become the heralds of a brand in social media context. The report is available for downloading here: Download Truly, Madly, Deeply, Engaged (184.4K)

Some of the great data in this report includes:

Three aspects that are driving the Socialization of the web are, Community, Self-Expression, and Personalization

The My Media Generation is quick to adapt to new online tools as they become available, Instant Messenger, Blogging, etc. (My Media Generation is the name that the report gives to the youth culture)

The My Media Generation considers the Internet an Essential part of their lives

skyRetailing in the Recession: Playbook 2, “The Sky is not Falling”

The report, by WPP Store, Playbook 2: The Sky Did Not Fall, reveals that “Consumers have begun to spend, but they spend on items they deem to be truly important. Wallets no longer expand to accommodate wants. Rather, consumers are restricting their spending to fit their budgets.”

New purchasing mentality: Consumers have learned that sometimes the cheaper brand is good enough. Unless they are convinced that a product is tangibly or emotionally better, they will select the less expensive alternative – either branded or own label – and pocket the difference.

Expanded presence of online: The decline in the product range found in stores will be accompanied by the coming of age of online and mobile retailing as more consumers click for product research, broader selection and the purchase reassurance found in online customer communities sharing product reviews and evaluations.

Greater reliance on brand strength: Discount is thriving in this economy, which is no surprise. The most important determinant of success, however, is not the sector served but the strength of brand equity.

Accelerated growth of new media: The fast-fragmenting media world offers new opportunities – and dangers – for brand promotion. Mass merchant customer databases and direct access to consumers positions mass merchants to become influential media owners at the expense of traditional players.

I found the last point, Accelerated growth of new media to be the most interesting (and contradictory to the preceding point Greater reliance on brand strength.) In my experience in when brands participates in new media (think: Social Media) they must give up a certain amount of control surrounding their brand message, which leads to greater transparency.

The full report is available here Download Playbook 2 (pdf, 1.27mb)

For even more read, “Retailing In The Recession: Playbook #1 – Through The Looking Glass

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7 thoughts on “5 of the best digital media research reports”

  1. Jon Fukuda

    Tks for compiling these and yor comprehensive writeup. We've been taking a hard look at how Social Media requirements have been bleeding into Corporate Intranets and Enterprise Systems. We'll be closing our survey in a week and compiling a report to share with all of our participants. Feel free to join the study: http://bit.ly/16hzlI

  2. scotthoffman

    Jon, thanks for the kind words. I would love to take a look at the study when it is completed. There is so much that can be learned and you are taking a unique approach.

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