%37 of the time online in 2011 spend in social networks

Each year consumers spend more time and more money online. The web is becoming completely integrated into our lives. Social connections are being made, conversations with companies taking place, relationships nurtured, whole wardrobes collected, news consumed and holidays are planned using the web. This adoption and widespread use of the web in all parts of our lives results in more fragmented online consumer behavior. This makes it increasingly harder to provide an objective overview of the online behavior of consumers.

To give detailed insights into the online behavior of consumers in a mature digital market we tracked the digital lives of more than 10.000 Dutch Consumers using our proprietary audience measurement technology. And here’s a short overview of some of the findings.

The Big Three dominate

Consumers spent approx. 60% of their time on The Big Three, which consist out of Social Networks, E-mail, and Search. This is followed by the trio of Shopping, News and Games. When looking at the total amount of visits per category we see a rearrangement of the Big Three and a more evenly distributed playing field. Search is most frequently visited (18,2%), followed by E-mail (11,8) and Social Networks (11,4%). Looking at the consumers behavior this is very logical. People tend to search quite frequently, but quickly. Social networks, however, have a different footprint. The volume is a bit lower, but consumers spend high amounts of time on them.

More time spend on Facebook than any other social network

What will come to know surprise to all of us is that Facebook is the nr. 1 social network in The Netherlands. It should be noted however that this is only since halfway 2011. Before that a popular local social network, Hyves, was in control. When looking at engagement (time on site, avg. pageviews per visit) it clearly shows that Facebook is in the lead. A quite interesting finding is that people, even though it just recently launched, spend more time per visit on Google+ compared to Twitter. The bite-sized content of Twitter definitely contributes to this. Another fascinating insight is that women are more engaged with social networks compared to men. More women spend more time on site and view more pages per visit compared to their male counterparts.
Google absent in Social, but dominates Search

After the initial introduction of Google+ there was a huge spike in traffic. However after the big rise, there was a great drop off and traffic reached a mere 2% penetration in our panel. Also when looking at the characteristics of the visits it clearly doesn’t the levels of engagement other platforms are providing.

What Google lack in social, it makes up in Search. Google absolutely dominates the search market in The Netherlands. It accounts for 95,8% of the search volume. Other competitors are near non-existing. Bing follows as a very distant with share of 2,4%, Ask.com 1,6% and Yahoo comes in forth with a meager 0,2%. The adoption of the additional services of Google (e.g. Maps, Mail) shows a classic long tail. While Maps and Mail are often visited during the week, the other services (Docs, News, Calendar, Video, Plus) lack any real traction.
Implications for Research in the Mobile World

This report tells about 90% of the story. And this will only steadily decrease in the near future. Why? Of course because the continuous rise of mobile usage by consumers. As outlined in the introduction this perfectly fits into the information snacking behavior consumers nowadays display. Moving back and forth between devices during different stages of the buying process.

The most important implication for research would be that we must move to an integrated multi-channel research approach. Not focussing on separate devices but on integrated multi-channel customer behavior. The consumer moves freely, quickly and seamlessly on multiple devices through cyberspace. They’re no longer bounded to specific platform for his or her journey. We shouldn’t be either in research.

About the study

These insights are part of a more extensive report (available for free in PDF format) called ‘State of the Web’. This elaborates on the behavior of consumers in specific categories such as Social Networks, Search, and Shopping. With our unique passive audience measurement technology we tracked the digital lives in 2011 of a representative panel which consists of approx. 10.000 Dutch consumers. We collected tens of gigabytes of data, which was used as input for the report.

Liberia’s first recycling center

Every single day when I was dealing with my daily routines, one part of my brain is always working for ‘ how to make this world a better living place ‘ Being a volunteer in many areas changed my perspective and I now can not stop thinking other people who have less opportunities socially and economically.  When I heard a success story from Africa , it makes me feels so great. Now,  I want to share this story with you :

James’ biggest hope is to empower the people in his community. One way he is doing that is by running a recycling an compost center in Monrovia, Liberia. He provides jobs with a purpose – and helps keep the city cleaner.

                                                                          Liberia’s first waste segregation and recycling center

James in the warehouse of the Green Center with sacks of plastic, cans and scrap metal ready for recycling

  James and his workers make compost out of the leftover food from the market women

         James weighs a bag of scrap metal to determine how much to pay the customer

Becoming A Category of One


What if you could completely eliminate your competition from your customers’consideration — would you do it? Of course, you would. These days, so many companies strive to fit into a niche that they must elbow their way past a mass of competitors to do so. Why strive to be a leader in your category when you can create a different category and be the only one in it?Such are the lessons to be learned in Becoming a Category of One. By using consultant Joe Calloway’s tips and advice, you can avoid being“commoditized” and differentiate yourself and your business from your competitors simply by shifting focus to your customers. Calloway describesreal-life examples of companies that have gotten to know their customersvery well, and have reaped the benefits of that knowledge in long-term relationshipsand continuous sales. Armed with proof that true success comes to organizations that can stand alone in their fields, he points out how a little self-discovery can take your business far, and how knowledge of self is critical to creating a successful branding strategy.


Deciding to Go

In the film Apollo 13, Tom Hanks’ character, astronaut Jim Lovell, reacts to the U.S. landing on the moon bytelling his wife, “From now on, we live in a world where man has walked on the moon. It’s not a miracle.We just decided to go.“Deciding to go” is the first step toward becoming a“Category of One” — making the commitment that createsa new level of success. Unfortunately, it’s also the step usually not taken. Most companies never decide togo. They talk a lot about it; they write mission statements and hold meetings, but when it comes down to making that commitment, they back away. Extraordinary companies make very deliberate decisions to go in terms of pursuing greatness; of seeing how far they can go and how successful they can become. Then, in order to sustain that success, they recommit to that decision again and again.

 Go Big or Go Home

Most companies never get beyond the talking stages of the decision to go. Even though they think they’ve committed to doing something different and significant, what they’ve really done is commit to the discussion of doing something different and significant — they talk a good game, but never make a single play. The decision to go must be followed by immediate and significant action —a clear sign throughout the company that signals there’s something big going on, made real by action.Many companies encounter their first real obstacle at this juncture — informing employees of impending change. They assume — mistakenly — that all employees not only want to be the best, but are also willing to do what it takes in terms of commitment, change and hard work in order to make it happen. This is often a false and, occasionally, dangerous assumption. If the company’s leadership is unable to rectify the situation,greatness on any level is virtually impossible — nothing of any substance will take place without the commitment of the employees. 

You Get What You Want the Most

Talk is cheap; actions speak louder than words. If you want to be a Category of One, you must back up your stated desire with action. Some companies say, “We want to have the best people in the world,” but they won’t invest in training or better hiring practices. They want their people to take responsibility, but they don’t give those people any real decision-making authority,and they micromanage everything those people do.They say, “We want teamwork,” but they do nothing to improve communication between departments. What they really want is the status quo, with slogans. They get what they want the most.

Know Who You Are

Who are you?

It’s a tough question; most companies can’t answer it. Who are you? Think about what’s important to you,what you’re about, and why your organization opens for business every day. If you have no sense of who you are, what’s really important, and what the point of it all is, you will find it difficult to compete with other companies who have these basics figured out. Every Category of One company creates clarity around the “why” of its business, not simply the “what.”Much of this is wrapped up in your company’s culture;how things are done in your business. Culture is the rules, spoken or unspoken, that the company plays by —every company, whether by design or accident, has a culture. The question for your organization to ponder is whether your culture is the one you want; the one that matches the idea of what your company wants to be.

Strengthen Your Language


Most companies have a mission statement, or a vision statement, or both — carefully crafted declarations that proclaim things like, “We will be the market leader,” or “We will create a superior return for stakeholders,” or some such uninspiring corporate-speak that means little or nothing to anyone in the real world. What is the point of having a mission statement if not to get to the guts of what you’re all about, in a way that actually means something significant, personal and exciting to the people in your organization? A weakness of so many companies is their reluctance to use powerful language to express what they claim are powerful ideas. Sometimes, people in business are so afraid of being “inappropriate,” they use bland corporate- speak that accomplishes nothing. What’s really inappropriate is having a mission statement that means nothing to anyone and fails to excite people. If you have strong feelings about your company, your customers and your people, use strong language.