As you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a “Heavy Internet User” (HIU) i.e. someone who has accessed the Web at least 11 times in the previous seven days as close to 100 million people in the US, or about one-third of the country’s population. Don’t start calling your mom telling her you’re part of a new elite: first of all because you’re just a little ahead of the herd and then because it just means you’re not taking care of your beloved ones enough ;-). But Marketing 2.0 is also a little ahead of the herd … for now, but certainly not ignoring our beloved ones: customers.

McCann just released an interesting study entitled The new “digital divide” — as technology has become one source of the “generation gap”— trying to understand how the new generation of digital consumers are transforming Mass communication, impacting communication and more specifically advertising.

Let’s get out of the way the blogging attitude: 62% of HIUs are blogging, going up to 71% for the 16-34 years old HIUs. “No longer can we simply broadcast our messages to a mass audience and hope that our standard metrics of reach and frequency will guarantee success,” said David Cohen, the author of the report.

Why does it matter? Well, one third of the total US population is not a niche really. Then because 84% of HIUs have using Internet to research a future purchase and buying on-line as their most common activities. Go get them fellow marketers, but don’t use the wrong marketing mix.

Check out the table above, provided by eMarketers, the technologies they use most are not the ones we market to easily: instant messaging, price comparison web sites and social networking sites (MySpace, Friendster, …). I encourage you to read the report to find out how HIUs react to various ways of advertising on blogs, but as you would expect 39% are just bothered when a company are seeding blogs to sell their products/services. Wikipedia, MySpace and Craigslist do rank well in the top 10 Internet Services they use currently. And finally, 49% “watch” TV, 47% listen to iPods or CDs and 41% to the radio while surfing the net.

To leave you on an even happier note, “word of mouth” is to them the most valuable and trustworthy channel when purchasing a product. So move it, switch to Marketing 2.0 now before it bites you.

You know where some McCann execs are headed now? Well Robin Kent is starting SpiralFrog, a free ad-supported music-download service in conjunction with Universal Music Group. Yes gang, music is finally going for the free syndrome as well. But SpiralFrog is not alone, Napster is going for it as well, allowing consumers to listen to up to five tracks for free while they view advertising.


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