Research: 79% of Internet Activity Was planned In Advance During 2010

Today at our LatAm Summit, Beth Uyenco, Global Research Director at Microsoft Advertising, presented a study about internet user behavior.

Microsoft Advertising made two surveys. The first one in 2007, placed in 4 countries: UK, France, Brazil and Canada, and the second one took place in 11 countries (including the first 4 ones) during 2010: UK, France, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Spain, U.S., Mexico, India, Russia and China.

The objective was to understand what drives people to go online and how best to integrate marketing communications into their different online activities

Methodology

Media Diaries: 7,000 respondents aged 16-54 years completing diaries of their online activities over a 24 hour period. Time, location and device used. Their reasons for going online (motivations). What they did when they were online (mode). How they felt at the time (mood). If they recalled seeing any advertising or using a search engine (for each mode).

Results

In 2007, Microsoft introduced the idea of the internet ‘village’. This was the user’s regular, familiar and trusted sites in which they spent most of their time: Newsagent (News feeds, sports homepages), Post Office (E-mails), Shops (e-bay, amazon), Pub (forums and social networks), Bank (finance), etc…

“Much of online behavior is familiar, like a local neighborhood.” Said Beth Uyenco today at Portada´s LatAm Summit.

Users are very confident as most everything is familiar. They know how to navigate and the feel safe as they easily recognize features of these more familiar websites. They have affection for sites with which they are familiar. And in turn they become more familiar with the interface of these often visited sites.

They trusted the sites in their ‘village’ and only left them when they needed to. “Advertising finds it harder to break through in the village environment, as it can stand out and be ‘jarring’ in this context”, said Beth Uyenco.

Looking at the difference between the results in 2007 and 2010, Microsoft stated that users have become more sophisticated in their internet use and they have thought about what they want from the internet and built new aspects of “their village”.

The pub has been upgraded to a much busier venue where ‘everyone’ congregates. There are also more conversation and creative activities going on. The more casual and ad-hoc entertainment provided by “the village” in 2007, has been usurped by bigger, more organised and comprehensive sites.

There are more social and more entertainment use – and users have started to “take their village with them”, through increased use of mobile devices.

The increased use of entertainment and socialising has become built into internet users’ plans, and also users are less spontaneous and less willing to try new things. In fact, they may be trying to cut down on exploration in an effort to keep their internet use “under control”.

In the four countries surveyed in both waves, Spontaneous use has fallen from 39% in 2007 to 21% in 2009/10. In 2010 Microsoft found that 79% of activity carried out on internet was planned in advance and 21% was not.

The study finds six basic motivations driving web behavior

Among these motivations, Communications is the largest one with 32% share of the internet use. In second place we can find Information with 22% and in third place, Entertainment with 17%. These patterns are similar in Brazil and Mexico.

Despite reports, e-mail is still the top activity with a 23% of all web behavior.

In Brazil and Mexico, the e-mail use is also the most important activity on internet. Brazil has 42% of the web behavior and Mexico 36%. The second category is IM to chat with 20% for Brazil and almost 25% for Mexico.


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