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Internet – most influencial medium in the lives of European consumers

imageFleishman-Hillard Inc. and Harris Interactive have published an excellent white paper which examines how the internet influences the modern consumer.

The study is titled  “Digital Life Index Study”  and highlights how the internet influences shopping behaviours, making particular comparisons between the UK, Germany and France.







4 key insights of the study were:-

Digital Influence:

The Internet is by far the most important medium in the lives of European consumers — but companies are underinvesting in that influence.

Behavioural Framework: Consumer use of the Internet falls into five distinct classes of behaviours. 

Research, Communication, Commerce are the 3 more established behaviours. 
In the expanding web 2.0 environment Consumer Generated Content is rapidly rising in importance. 
The 5th behaviour is consuming Internet content on Mobile devices.
Smart marketers will clearly understand the mix of behaviours that is most critical to their business — and formulate integrated campaigns to address that mix.

Consumers use the Internet in different ways to make different decisions.

The differences are driven by the impact of the decision on their lives and the range of available choices. e.g. Buying commoditised items like airline tickets are made with less consultation with online consumers than choices that have higher personal impact such as healthcare, or major electronic purchases.

Consumers see the clear benefits of the Internet to their lives, but they still have strong concerns that need to be addressed.

Clearly consumers recognise the value of the internet as a medium, but are also voicing concerns over internet safety.

Neighbourhood matching real-estate filter

Digital media allows the creation of some innovative tools to help with filtering large list into a manageable and personalised selection.

Real Estate matching is a challenge that most of us have been through at least once, and one that real estate agents solve with an exchange of location information for customer needs parameters such as property requirements and price.

The web has given rise to a wealth of property information, and now represents a major resource for prospective buyers.  Not surprisingly, the industry boasts some of the best examples of how the internet is changing our shopping behaviour.  Examples such as ZillowTrulia and are continuing evolving the service of matching customer real estate needs against their pool of properties.

Hoodeo is a new online business that launched today and attempts to apply a neighbourhood filter to the property selection process.  After filling in about 10 questions (on 3 pages), you get this page.


The chart (and survey questions) graph the results according to Lifestyle, Property and Price.

I think Hoodeo should have enhanced the engagement of the survey by using images, and I believe the “Lifestyle” parameter should be sub-divided into a selection of lifestyle categories.

The site doesn’t include social features to allow customers to rate, review, share and have conversations about the neighbourhood variables.

Perspective: Whilst digital allows websites to provide functionality not offered in other communication channels, the “experience” is what separates good sites from great ones, and what results in word of mouth spread of the features offered.

Top 100 Australian Web 2.0 Applications

The BRW has officially launched it’s top Australian web2.0 applications.

Here’s a selection of the ones I am familiar with :-

5. Engagd



Person/Company: Faraday Media (Chris Saad/ Ashley Angell)

Description: Web service application that creates ‘attention profiles’ of users, and enables these to be used in customising services and content for users.

6. MyVirtualHome



Person/Company: Greg Lane/ Paul Condon

Description: Allows users to create an accurate 3D walk-through model of their home, preview renovation possibilities and products provided by vendors, and contact service suppliers. People can share their home interiors and gardens for collaborative design. The viewing software will soon be available as a free download, allowing manufacturers and retailers to display products and themed homes in interactive 3D on their websites. Software being sold and licensed in a number of overseas countries.

9. Scouta



Person/Company: Richard Giles/ Graeme Sutherland

Description: Collaborative filtering and recommendation engine provided as a web service for online retailers or entertainment providers. The consumer site provides personalised recommendations for video and audio.

11. vibEngine



Person/Company: Vibe Capital (Clay Cook/ Rachel Cook/ Jackie Shervington)

Description: Richly featured social community platform used by Vibe Capital’s Minti and Gooruze, and licensed to a number of overseas clients.

15. StreetAdvisor



Person/Company: Jason Spencer/ Adam Spencer

Description: Residents rate their streets and localities on criteria such as public facilities, noise, and neighbourly spirit, and write reviews. Users earn ‘streetcred’ and ‘local experts’ are appointed. The primary focus is on Australia, US, UK and Canada, but it has been launched in many other countries.

17. Plugger



Person/Company: Stephen Phillips/ Richard Slatter

Description: Australian news aggregator covering mainstream and social media, and providing recent trends in coverage of leading companies and people.

18. Tangler



Person/Company: Martin Wells/ Alex von Kotze/ Mick Liubinskas

Description: Customisable live forums with features including embedding discussions into blogs and social networks. Popular with Australian and US technology start-ups for their user forums.

21. Particls



Person/Company: Faraday Media (Chris Saad/ Ashley Angell)

Description: Application and browser plug-in that uses the Engagd web service to provide personalized news and alerts based on users’ attention profiles.

23. Ripple



Person/Company: Matt Tilleard/ Mack Nevill/ Jehan Ratnatunga/ Simon Griffiths

Description: Charity site that generates income for donation through advertising and sponsorship. Buttons and search boxes are available on Facebook, widgets for blogs and websites, Google gadgets, and browser toolbars.

52. Minti



Person/Company: Vibe Capital (Clay Cook/ Rachel Cook/ Jackie Shervington)

Description: Online forums and community for parents, including tagging, rating and comments. Based on VibeCapital’s vibEngine platform.

55. Norg Media

Norg Media


Person/Company: Bronwen Clune

Description: Citizen journalism websites that allow local residents to report and comment on what is happening in their city and community. Currently available in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. ure directions include licensing the platform into overseas markets.

67. Gooruze



Person/Company: Vibe Capital (Clay Cook/ Rachel Cook/ Jackie Shervington)

Description: Social network for online marketers. Includes ranking of members and their submissions based on their contributions and user ratings. Based on VibeCapital’s vibEngine

92. The Roar

The Roar


Person/Company: Conversant Media

Description: Australian sports opinion site, including user generated content and discussion.

100. Buggerall



Person/Company: Australian Blogs

Description: Blog search based on tags.

It’s great to see Australian companies making their mark in the global web2.0 space.  I hope that these companies can inspire more innovation.

There is a new Vibe in the Village

A new social network has launched in Australia which hopes to address some of the key insights from online social media research.


Vibe Village is a social network which is hoping to connect brands to social influencers, by targeting 3 needs.


Being First.

I still remember running home to tell my brothers that I had found a way to get through the lane way at the back of my house, only to be disappointed when it became apparent that the news wasn’t news to them.

One of the key motivators for research and discovery is to be one of the first to know about a certain product, service.  Being First can be a relative concept, for example there is only one Neil Armstrong.  Yet, it’s much more common to be the first person in our social group to communicate a new fact.

Free stuff.

We all like stuff for free, so much so that we are almost suspicious when we are offered free things.  Vibe Village lets its members chose products that match their interests, offering programs that members can register for, and obtain free stuff such as advance copies of soon to be released DVD’s and new innovative products.

Share and Shape.

Members are encouraged to shape the innovation of products by being given a direct voice to products, and are also given opportunities to share news by hosting parties.

In today’s world of advertising clutter, it’s more and more difficult to get your message in the hands of the people who can provide a genuine word of mouth communication.  Vibe Village is attempting to provide a targeted solution for brands wanting to recruit product evangelists, by providing access to individuals who are passionate about your category.

Disclosure: Vibe Village has been a client of Frontiering

9 out of 10 of mobile web users are male

imageMobile browser Opera have released a demographic report which shows that 88% of their users are male.  14.7 million people used Opera Mini in May 2008, which is a 24.6% increase on the March 2008 numbers.

Their user base is also most popular in the 18-27 year old demographic.

2.9 billion pages were viewed in May, with an average of 200 pages per person.
This graph shows the increase in page views over the last 2 years.


With the July 11 release of the new iphone, I’d expect a continued increase in web access from mobile devices, and this will also spawn additional mobile centric content and services.

via ReadWriteWeb