I recently heard an interesting statistic. According to JupiterResearch, Americans now spend the same amount of time using the Internet as they do watching TV — 14 hours per week on average.
Hearing this led me to pause for a moment and reflect on how old I must be, and how things have changed. It seems like just yesterday to many of us B-to-B direct marketers that we started hearing about “the Web.” It was the early ’90s. Today I realize that my wireless network of home computers (I have three) are on 24/7, ready for instant use at any time.
I also realize that like most of you, and most of our customers, I no longer use a printed phone book. I use Switchboard.com. I jump to Wikipedia for information whenever I’m curious. I tossed all my cookbooks last year in favor of recipe searches. I love Priceline.com for bidding on last-minute travel deals. I’m addicted to user reviews and feedback on sites like Hotels.com. I rely on BizRate.com and other such sites for “trusted referrals.”
I find business contacts on LinkedIn.com and long-lost friends on Facebook.com. I find anything obscure via a Google search. I buy my refrigerator water filters from www.fridgefilters.com. I rent movies at Netflix.com and catch up on missed TV shows online. I seldom watch regular TV anymore … not even CNN or The Weather Channel.
To sum it up, I learn everything I need to know from my computer.
Most importantly, I realize I’m now a multichannel B-to-B marketer who thinks Web first and print, phone and other support media second. Yes, times have changed.
While catalogs, direct mail and other traditional media will never go away, I believe the scales have at least balanced or possibly tipped in favor of online media. I also look forward to the not-to-distant future when voice recognition allows us to do a “talk search,” so I won’t have to hunt for my reading glasses first!
Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at email@example.com or (954) 383-5221 (direct line).
Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services B2B catalog company clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes @ b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221
Comments or questions are welcome.