Thursday, September 27, 2007

Harnessing Passionistas Through Digital Media

Well, thanks to our friends at Yahoo! we have a new study and a new title for a group of passionate consumers. The Yahoo! study, which was entitled"Passionistas: The New Empowered Consumers, tracked the online behavior of consumers with specific passions including health, sports, food and entertainment, and it showed that Passionistas spend significantly more time engaged in activities related to their passions than the average consumer." Hence, the name!

And it really is quite interesting. When you think about it, whenever individuals are passionate about anything, they tend to spend more time thinking and talking about whatever it is. Here are some highlights from Yahoo!'s study:

-- For every one minute a typical Internet user spends online with the same content, Passionistas spend six minutes.

-- Passionistas will visit a website related to their passion three times more than a typical user.

-- Passionistas search online for information about their passion 184 percent more than typical users and conduct more than 100 related searches related to their passion per year.

-- Passionistas heavily engage with communities of like-minded consumers who use email, text messaging, and instant messaging significantly more than typical users, and are more likely to create and share user-generated content online such as photos, blog posts or videos about their passions. Because of their intense engagement around sharing information about their passions through digital media, Passionistas are natural brand advocates and 52% more likely than typical users to recommend or influence others about brands aligning with them.

Wow! So how can direct marketers successfully find these passionate folks and make them passionate about their specific products and services? Well, Mark McLaughlin, Vice President of Audience Strategies at Yahoo! states it this way: "Marketers who build their campaigns from the start with the goal of tapping into passions are inviting consumers to get engaged and create an authentic dialogue."

In addition, the study found that timing is critical in making a connection with passionate-types of consumers. For example, noteworthy events such as "Britney Spears' appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards, the beginning of the NFL season, the premier of a new TV show, or the opening of a new restaurant" get our passionate crowd going! These types of "triggers" make Passionistas excited about the topic of their passion and get them to become engaged in all sorts of sharing activities, like blogging, IM'ing, or participating in some other type of social media. In fact, Jim Kite, President of Connections Research and Analytics at MediaVest, states that, "Accessing Passionistas online also offers the ability to track this valuable group's media consumption habits, enabling brands to optimally -- and accountably -- leverage their advocacy power."

This is why we are so excited about utilizing social media/marketing channels as part of our overall marketing strategy. How better to get prospects and customers involved in what you sell than to get them to do all of the talking about it? Picture this: Consumers are online shopping, blogging, sharing links, etc., about what you offer . . . and there simply is no better advertising than word-of-mouth. It is the ultimate testimonial about the greatness and value of your product or service.

We advise you to take a look at this excellent study -- and thanks to the creative folks at Yahoo! for bringing these compelling results to us.

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