Highlights From the Most Recent BIA/Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor and User View Surveys

On day one of the BIA/Kelsey Marketplaces 2010 conference, Steve Marshall (Director of research at BIA/Kelsey) shared highlights from two studies they’ve been doing regularly for years, the Local Commerce Monitor and the User View.

First, the Q3 2009 Local Commerce Monitor. The survey measures where small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving

  • Penetration of online media (77%) exceeds Traditional Media (69%) for the first time in Q3. That’s the percentage of SMBs using each type of media to promote themselves.
  • Newer businesses much more oriented to online media. For businesses created less than 3 years ago, 30% of their budget is dedicated to online. Overall average is 21.8%.
  • 32% of businesses plan to use social media and blogs to promote themselves in the next 12 months.

Second, the February 2010 User View. The survey focuses on how U.S. consumers are evolving their use of traditional and online information sources to find and locate local serving businesses.

  • BIA/Kelsey is seeing more and more fragmentation in local shopping. Consumers say they used 7.9 different sources to for local shopping information in the last year. That’s up from 5.6 in 2007.
  • 82% use Internet as Primary or Secondary source for product purchases smaller than $500
  • 45% use Internet to research non-routine purchases before buying
  • 27% completed most recent product purchase bigger than $500 online
  • Membership in social networks continues to explode: 67% are on Facebook, 30% on MySpace, 20% on Twitter and 14% on LinkedIn. Two years ago, only 16% were on Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist!
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MySpace Opens Up Their Real-Time Activity Stream to Developers

Mike Jones, COO, MySpace, and Monica Keller, Group Architect, stepped on stage right after Twitter. It was a tough act to follow given Twitter’s growth (and Facebook’s for that matter) but they still managed to announce exciting things. MySpace is opening up its real-time activity stream unrestricted using push technology with no time delay. The first three partners are Google, OneRiot, and Groovy Networks. They also announced a few other improvements to their API, the details of which are on their corporate blog.

They also announced a developer challenge starting in January. More details will be found soon in their developer section. MySpace currently has 110M users each month and 46 million events are published in the activity stream every day.

Additional information:

ReadWriteWeb: “Myspace Opens Floodgates: Developers Get API for Real-Time Stream”

Techcrunch: “MySpace Launches New Set Of Realtime APIs With Google, OneRiot And Groovy”

LeWeb '09: Sessions I'm Most Looking Forward To

LeWeb, the major European conference (the equivalent of the Web 2.0 Summit in North America), just released their complete schedule for the next event happening in Paris on December 9 and 10. The theme of the conference is the real-time Web.

As I wrote about a month ago, I’ve been selected as one of their official bloggers. Here are the speakers I’m most looking forward to:

  • A fireside chat with Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s creator. Will be interesting to hear his vision about where Twitter is going.
  • Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform, Twitter. His background as a “local” expert makes him an interesting speaker for anyone interested in local media.
  • “The Platform Roundtable” with representatives from Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, Ustream, SixApart, MySpace and Twitter. Expect the discussion to revolve around APIs and open ecosystems…
  • A fireside chat with Robert Scoble. Always interesting perspective as a good observer of the Web scene.
  • Niklas Zennstrom (of Kazaa-Skype-Joost fame). I want to hear more about their new venture in the music industry Rdio.
  • The Money Roundtable with a group of very interesting VCs including David Hornik and Fred Wilson. Expect them to say they’re still cautious but that 2010 should be a good year.
  • “The rise of emotional Web” by Yossi Vardi. Should be a fascinating session.
  • Gillmor Gang Live. Always explosive!

Loic Le Meur, the organizer, often has surprise guest speakers as well. If you want to attend and haven’t bought your ticket yet, you can get a 10% discount if you use the following code: BLOG09 .

LeWeb '09: Sessions I'm Most Looking Forward To

LeWeb, the major European conference (the equivalent of the Web 2.0 Summit in North America), just released their complete schedule for the next event happening in Paris on December 9 and 10. The theme of the conference is the real-time Web.

As I wrote about a month ago, I’ve been selected as one of their official bloggers. Here are the speakers I’m most looking forward to:

  • A fireside chat with Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s creator. Will be interesting to hear his vision about where Twitter is going.
  • Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform, Twitter. His background as a “local” expert makes him an interesting speaker for anyone interested in local media.
  • “The Platform Roundtable” with representatives from Facebook, Ning, LinkedIn, Ustream, SixApart, MySpace and Twitter. Expect the discussion to revolve around APIs and open ecosystems…
  • A fireside chat with Robert Scoble. Always interesting perspective as a good observer of the Web scene.
  • Niklas Zennstrom (of Kazaa-Skype-Joost fame). I want to hear more about their new venture in the music industry Rdio.
  • The Money Roundtable with a group of very interesting VCs including David Hornik and Fred Wilson. Expect them to say they’re still cautious but that 2010 should be a good year.
  • “The rise of emotional Web” by Yossi Vardi. Should be a fascinating session.
  • Gillmor Gang Live. Always explosive!

Loic Le Meur, the organizer, often has surprise guest speakers as well. If you want to attend and haven’t bought your ticket yet, you can get a 10% discount if you use the following code: BLOG09 .

Kelsey Group: 32% of SMBs Plan to Use Social Media in the Next 12 Months

[praized subtype=”small” pid=”66afa9c1b5e4cd2f613f200ec61d955d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] just released some interesting data around small merchant social media usage coming from their Local Commerce Monitor study.

Highlights:

  • 9% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) currently use Twitter to market their businesses.
  • 32% of SMBs indicated they plan to include social media in their marketing mix in the next 12 months by using a page on a social site such as Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace.
  • 39% of SMBs plan to include customer ratings or reviews on their own Web sites
  • 31% plan to include links or ads placed on social sites or blogs.
  • The study revealed adoption of social media by SMBs is more prevalent among younger businesses. For example, 16% of SMBs that have been in business for less than 3 years use Twitter to promote themselves

What it means: still think real-time conversation and social media for small merchants is a fad or a dream? Think again. We’re only seeing the point of the iceberg. SMB adoption is now on the radar screen and will grow tremendously in the next 18 months.

Techcrunch: "Don’t Fight The Stream!"

From Don’t Fight The Stream: Facebook And FriendFeed Redesigns Are Paying Off on Techcrunch:

When Facebook redesigned its homepage in early March in a wholehearted embrace of the real-time activity stream as its primary user interface, everybody complained. “Why on earth does the world need 2 Twitters?,” asked one of my friends on Facebook. Twitter-envy aside, some early data suggests that embracing the stream was the right decision after all.

Since the redesign went into effect, Facebook’s growth has accelerated. After flat 0.3 growth in February, Facebook added nearly 4 million unique U.S. visitors in March (up 6.6 percent over February), and another 5 million in April (up 10.3 percent over March) to end at 67.5 million domestic uniques, according to comScore. That puts it within kissing distance of MySpace’s 71 million unique U.S. visitors in April, by the way (…), and keeps a healthy 50-million visitor gap with Twitter, which added 8 million U.S. visitors in April alone.

What it means: As I wrote in my “I have seen the future of local media” post last week, the activity stream is the new gold standard for content discovery and Facebook’s new focus on it seems to be paying dividends in terms of usage. If you’re in Local Media, you should embrace it as well.

What is MySpace?

Day 1 of the Kelsey Group’s MarketPlaces 2009 conference. Jeff Berman, President, Sales & Marketing for MySpace, was on stage for a keynote address.

Of note in his presentation:

  • Jeff described MySpace as a “social portal” halfway between a portal and a social network
  • 40% of online moms in the US are on MySpace each month
  • Their classifieds section, powered by Oodle, generates 500K postings a month
  •  They’re recently introduced MySpaceID, their equivalent of Facebook Connect or Google FriendConnect
  • When asked how do they differentiate MySpace from Facebook, he answers that Facebook is a social utility, a very powerful, elegantly designed, communication platform. But that there are no licensed music content and no licensed video content in it like you find in MySpace.
  • When asked “what is your USP?”, Berman said ” Massive content platform, social discovery around music”.
  • When asked if they’re interested in “local”, he started by replying that they’re careful before they go in a space because they don’t want to upset their large user base. They need the right model. They also need a foreseeable revenue component but he did say local was interesting to them.
  • Questioned about their target market, the MySpace exec said “everyone”

Here is the Kelsey Group blog summary of the presentation.

What it means: a couple of thoughts. First, I got the feeling that MySpace is in this bizarre brand/product positioning situation. They’d like to be Facebook and embrace social networking to the max but they’re not there yet. At the same time, the music/video component of the platform is what makes it compelling to a lot of users. If you’re a new music group, you need to be on MySpace and personally, I often start my search on the site when I want to listen to new acts bypassing search engines completely. I also like the level of activity in their classifieds section. Not bad at all! Finally, on the “local” question, I decoded from Berman’s answers that MySpace is not going to play in “local” in the short term. They’re still trying to find a model that will work. So, what is MySpace? A music/video site? A social network? Given that they’re owned by News Corp, I think they should morph into a “social entertainment” destination and platform. The launch of MySpace ID (now available on Yahoo! by the way) should increase their relevancy in the social ecosystem.