Consumer Internet Traffic Exceeds That of Business, and It Matters

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If you don’t have a strategy that addresses what’s happening in Social Media or a world of Web 2.0 these statistics should shock you.

  • Consumer IP traffic will surpass business IP traffic in 2008. Simply put, your customers are more active on the Internet than you and your competitors. Are they talking about you? If so, what are they saying? If not, well that can’t be a good thing.
  • The computing technology available to consumers is superior to that available to Enterprises and it is often free. It might surprise many to learn that Google is among the top 5 computer manufacturers. But they don’t sell the computers, they make their computing power available to consumers and use leading edge technology and strategies. This computing power helps consumers with search, connecting and learning from each other and vetting companies, products and people—on their terms.
  • In 2008 all of the top 10 global Internet traffic leads are involved in social networking or Web 2.0 activities. In 2005 site like Amazon.com, ebay.com, Microsoft.com, google.co.uk, aol.com and go.com made the list. No more.

These statistics and more are available at www.morganstanley.com/techresearch.
People are concerned about all the data businesses have about them. This is a legitimate concern and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. However, now businesses need to realize that their customers are involved in a powerful new world where they are connected, communicating and influencing each others decisions. And, they are paying less and less attention to traditional forms of advertising and marketing.

2 COMMENTS

  1. John: thanks for bringing this up. Here are three major issues your insight points toward:

    1) Wealth building Today, individuals (not just companies) can build fabulously valuable information on the Internet. Just ten years ago, only companies with deep pockets had the resources to create the custom software and collect data. Today, one person working from home can create the same value through multiple free web services.

    2) New sales models For salespeople, the hard reality is that the sales conversation started long before the cold call. Unfortunately, most companies build sales processes based on assumptions that were shaky even five years ago–that the salesperson initiates the conversation and the change process along with it. Companies that grasp the new paradigm that salespeople most likely enter an established social network to facilitate change will be the champions over the old school mindset of “cold call” marketing.

    3) Risk Corporate risk managers must be prepared for the speed and impact that consumer Internet traffic brings. In the non-Internet past, many urban myths fizzled and died, forever unheard. Today, product strategies can accelerate or tank based on the opinions of just one net-savvy individual. If a corporate board’s agenda doesn’t include social network risk, I suggest selling the stock before things get worse.

  2. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the comments. All three of your point bring an important perspective. The issue for most companies and salespeople is to understand how the rules have changed and how to use the new tools. It is much more than a new venue.

    An extension of your new sales model it to think about building customer relationships before the sale happens. This can and is happening through social media. Customers become attracted to the potential of a meaningful relationship that will help them address the challenges they face and help them extract more value from the products they buy. Quite different from closing the deal.

    John

    John I. Todor, Ph.D.
    Author of Get with it! The Hands-on Guide to Using Web 2.0 in Your Business

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