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Consumers Demand Brand Interaction

Practical help fosters positive feelings

October 29, 2009

Brand interaction with consumers via new media has gone from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have over the years, a development supported by research from Cone.

More than one-half of new media users (53%) believe brands should have a presence in new media, interacting with consumers as needed or by request only, while a further 36% demand a new media presence with regular interaction.

Contact with brands is still popular through both traditional online and newer channels, with 58% of respondents interacting with companies through e-mail and 45% through Websites, compared with just 30% communicating with brands via social networks.

New media contact with companies and brands fosters goodwill in a majority of users, with at least seven in 10 respondents reporting positive impressions, stronger connections and a greater willingness to engage with the company.

Attitudes of US New Media Users Toward Companies/Brands that They* Are Able to Interact with via New Media, September 2009 (% of respondents)

Similar to the respondents in Lightspeed Research’s “Global Web Index” survey, those polled for the “2009 Cone Consumer New Media Study” were interested in brands that would keep them informed, provide product information and give incentives—and generally use new media to help solve consumers’ problems. Entertainment was considered much less important.

Ways that US New Media Users Would Like Companies/Brands to Use New Media for Consumer Interaction, September 2009 (% of respondents)

“If companies are going to be a mainstay in new media, they’re going to have to realize consumers expect more than a passive existence,” said Mike Hollywood, Cone’s director of new media, in a statement. “New media are about experience, dialogue and immediacy. There was a time when just being in new media got you the gold star for effort. But consumers are continually refining their expectations and more and more are looking for specific interactions.”

Keep up on the latest digital trends. Learn more about an eMarketer Total Access subscription, today.

Check out today’s other article, “Bad Campaign Worse than None at All.”


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