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Microsoft Advertising, Mindshare and MEC release study on internet habits

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | June 03, 2011
Titled 'Living with the Internet -- What Is Driving Web Behaviour', the study maps out key behavioural patterns of users online; it suggests that the majority time spent online by Indians is planned, and not spontaneous.

Microsoft Advertising, MEC and Mindshare have released a study entitled 'Living with the Internet -- What is Driving Web Behaviour'. The study, designed to understand the nature of time spent online across the world, is intended to gain better insights on consumers' web behaviour and help marketers and brands make the best use of the same.

The study was undertaken across 11 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the US, and focussed on 7,000 participants, in the age group of 16-54 years.

The study finds that 72 per cent time spent online by Indians is planned and spontaneous. Activity on the internet has halved in the last two years, with consumers trying to stay focussed and make better use of time online. This trend is also consistent worldwide, with Japan topping the list in the proportion of planned visits at 89 per cent, and China at 76 per cent.

The other key findings of the study show how people's attention online is dispersed, and that users are increasingly multi-tasking.

Alok Sinha, leader, invention, Mindshare South Asia, says, "Brands will have to create bookmarks on people's minds. If brands are not consistent, chances are that they will get lost."

"The interplay amongst Paid, Owned and Earned media is most significant in the digital world. The digital world today, is an amalgamation of multiple digital touch points, often simultaneously. For holistic campaigns, brands need to activate all aspects of digital to engage the multitasking consumer," says Shubha George, chief operating officer, MEC South Asia.

The study also finds that while search engines are the gateway to the virtual world, social media behaviour also influences internet behaviour.

Sinha says that search is the first moment of truth for brands and it is inevitable for brands to be present in the search process. He adds that search is increasingly being challenged by social, as word-of-mouth and online social reference is gaining ground.

The study further states that the internet is increasingly emerging as an entertainment hub to watch and download video clips and TV shows online, and for music and gaming, particularly in the age group of 16-24 years.

It also identifies certain modes associated with different motivations for using the internet, pointing to agencies and brands -- the kind of content or communication that might engage better in that particular mode of access.

The study also captures insights on usage patterns across devices, and finds that in India, smartphone usage at 34 per cent is primarily to seek information and for content sharing, notebooks, at 33 per cent, are high for transactions and entertainment.

'Living with the Internet' also reveals a contrast in receptiveness to online advertising between the developed and emerging markets.

Commenting on the study, Neville Taraporewalla, director, Microsoft Advertising, Microsoft India, says in a press statement, "The rapidly changing dynamics of internet usage in India offer a fresh set of opportunities and challenges for advertisers. The study clearly underscores that as the internet grows to a scale and size, consumers are adopting a time-efficient, planned and deliberate approach towards internet usage, which in turn implies that marketers will have to work harder to reach the consumer on the go."

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