Our favorite source of information, the Pew Internet & American Life Project, has released its annual findings of what are the most popular activities on the Internet. As a reminder, we like Pew the most because by all appearances it seems that this research isn’t just a veiled PR stunt like most of the “research” that is passed around these days.
First, the simple fact that all marketers should be paying attention to the basics despite the daily temptation to rabbit trail after the latest and great online toys that promise the world but barely deliver a neighborhood at times. Those basics are email and search and they are still the dominant activities online by far.
Social is rising and that shouldn’t be ignored but good marketing is like anything else in that mastery of the basics should come before getting ahead of the game with the current online fad or flavor of the day. In other words, market accordingly!
Second, Pew looks at who is searching. The real tale of the tape here is the sad fact that the lower the economic status of a person the less likely they will do searches. That could be due to availability of Internet connection, education or any other variable that defines those who make less money than others.
And finally, as for email, it still rocks and it gets more attention in the lower economic group as well.
So in the end these statistics once again point to the need to be where the people are and for now which places email and search as the leaders. Social has its place and that place is growing considerably but to get caught up in all the hype could be taking a marketer’s eye off the ball, so to speak.
So what is your opinion? Should the basics be completely under control or is that just a conservative approach to marketing in the online space? What are the factors that might make a less than full hearted attempt at email and search marketing in favor of social media marketing a good move?