Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blog Marketing

The Universal McCann study on "Social Media Usage" claims that about 65.8% of active internet users in the Philippines read blogs. That's more than the circulation than any of the major broadsheets and magazines. With that in mind a lot of PR practitioners, marketers and advertising agencies have been taking notice (finally!) of the platform.

I've been asked time and time again by former colleagues, college classmates and friends what blogging is all about. They've been asking me because they found my blog somewhere and thought that using new media for their companies is something that they should look into.

Below are some slides that I put together for a workshop I did about blog marketing.

Feel free to ask questions.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Social Media Usage in the Philippines, a Review of the Universal McCann Study

I got excited over the study made by Universal McCann for social media usage (check out the study) and I chewed on the 80-paged report yesterday. What can I say? Stats make my heart do flip-flops. I miss my research mentor.

Tumble-weed crossing...

The study showed quite a number of big numbers and after review of the study I thought it should be noted that the study is a good indicator of what's happening in the market, but should not be taken to represent the whole market. Take note that they had 17,000 respondents from 29 countries, that's less than a thousand per country. I'm not keen on unearthing my notes on how to compute how much population less than a thousand can represent. Anyway, as my guru said, "READ WITH CAUTION".

I thought as well that the 15.4% internet penetration rate is grossly understated. AC Nielsen said that we're expected to have 24 million in our country this year and that's almost 27%, almost double of the penetration rate stated in the study.

The report claims to represent the online social media activities of active users. Active users being the "key leaders" and "drivers of adoption". They are what Mr. Ed Mapa coined as the "prosumers" in last year's National Marketing Conference. Active users/prosumers are the early adopters and those who do things on their own accord. They are the ones who are followed as examples by the "wait and see" crowd and for marketers they are important because they help get the word out, thus influencing consumers down the line to purchase/use products/services.

The study claims that the Philippines has 3.7 million active users. I did a bit of mathematics to align it with the supposed 24 million internet users and the number should be 6.48 million.

I have been asked by marketers time and time again about the demographics of the online market. I have continuously refused to succumb to explaining it the traditional way. Fact is you can never really tell if the eyeballs visiting a site is from a young child or a grandpa. What you can extract however is the profile of that person visiting that site. Fifteen and fifty year olds can both enjoy the same online game eh? Yup.

Anyway, the study Univesal McCann made is quite a good indicator of what's happening in the online market. Ahhh, the bloggers would be so happy.

Reading Blogs. 65.8% of active users read blogs, to current number of users it translates to 4.2 million. Five of the most read categories/topics are: personal, family/friends, music, news/current affairs, film/TV. IMHO it's true, I have a smattering of niche blogs, but my most read blog is my personal blog (I guess people find reading this blog boring LOL).

Writing Blogs. Only 4.8% of active users blog! That's roughly only about 311,000 in the 24 million internet users. I wonder though if the stats for the categories was correct since the page was exactly the same with the "reading blogs" page. Typo? Top 3 contents posted include: photos, video, and recommended website.

Social Networking. Everyone knows that it was the Philippines who put Friendster on the map (now with 10.7 million users in the country). The study said that 83.1% of active users have a profile in a social networking site. Let's not even bother to smudge in the numbers. Users normally upload photos and videos and install apps.

Sharing Content. Active users share the following content: photos 86.4% and videos 60.5%

Consuming Content. 98.6% of active users watch videos and 45.2% use RSS.

These are very exciting numbers and the Philippines is in the forefront compared to other countries. The indicators for growth is also rising by leaps and bounds. I've been seeing a number of local promotions targeting online users, but it's not picking up. Why? Because the marketers are still doing things the traditional way.

Ad spend to promote these endeavors are going to tv, print and radio, I have yet to see ads being placed on search engines and social networking sites. I think what they sadly forgot to take into account is the fact that the profile of internet users are very much different from those who watch tv or read newspapers. I'm a big internet user and I get my entertainment online through Youtube and I read news online as well. I don't watch TV often (especially now it's busted). The name of the game in marketing online is being able to profile your target market well and reaching out to them when they pursue their interests online when they read, watch and upload content.

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