Consumers and Marketers Gain on Emerging Digital Channels

As Social-networking sites attract  5% of all web visits, Blogospheree expands to over 57 million blogs, and VCs pumped in more than $455 million into Web 2.0 startups in 2006, Emerging digital technologies including podcasts, text messages (SMS), RSS, blogs and message boards are offering marketers and consumers an increasing number of channels through which to communicate, according to Bluestreak's Emerging Digital Channels: Consumer Adoption, Attitudes & Behavior study. 

Key Findings from Bluestreak Study: 

The rate of adoption for new communication technologies represents a huge opportunity for marketers to expand their online investments into these emerging channels. While 100% of respondents currently use email, the rate of adoption is growing with all the emerging digital technologies: 

  • 88% using text messaging; 
  • 71% using message boards; 
  • 63% using blogs; 
  • 36% using podcasting; 
  • 28% using RSS.

There’s a growing acceptance of advertising as the trade-off, as long as the information is relevant and high-quality.  Key attitudinal findings regarding advertising on emerging platforms include: 

  • Majority of respondents think that the number of ads is appropriate: blogs (55%), message boards (55%), podcasting (61%), and RSS (48%). 
  • 70% would keep reading a blog they know is sponsored, while 66% would keep reading a sponsored message board
  • However 77% of respondents say there is too much text messaging advertising and 80% feel negatively towards text message advertisers. 

The study finds that permission-based emails provide the best ad performance: 

  • If an email is permission-based, 31% of respondents will open it 91-100 percent of the time and 41% will open it 61 to 90 percent of the time)
  • After opening a permission-based email, 83% of respondents said they clicked on the website, 69% said they made an online purchase and 56% made a purchase in a retail store
Consumers of emerging digital channels are highly concerned about viruses (64%), identity theft (56%), spyware (53%), and spam (44%).  

This study was conducted for Bluestreak in September, 2006 by ROI Research, Inc. (, an independent online market research and consulting company. This study was conducted among 1,000 consumers from an eRewards’ panel of over 1.5 million households and includes respondents who use email and at least one of the other five emerging technologies (RSS, Text Messaging, Blogs, Message Boards and Podcasting). At 95% confidence interval, a sample size of 996 has a sampling error of 3.1%.

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