It turns out this is true but what I didn't realize was just how powerful online engagement - what Razorfish calls a "digital brand experience" - really is.
First of all, according to the report, the sheer numbers of people who can be classified as "connected consumers" - those who have the means and disposition to engage with brands online - has finally reached the saturation point, at least from a marketer's perspective.
Razorfish combines its own findings with those of the Pew Internet & American Life Project to determine that roughly 200 million Americans can now be classified as "connected consumers," defined by Razorfish as those who:
- Have broadband access
- Spent at least $150 online in the past 6 months (plane tickets, Amazon, etc.)
- Visited a social networking site, and
- Consumed or created some form of digital media (news, photos, video, music, etc.)
Digital brand experiences include things like participating in an online contest, reading a corporate blog, writing or reading a product review, friending a brand on a social network, following a brand on Twitter, etc.
Here's the really juicy info, though.
First, 65% of consumers report having had a digital brand experience that either positively or negatively changed their opinion of a brand. That's a higher number than was expected - and it will continue to grow exponentially.
Second (and this is the real kicker) of these consumers, 97% say that their digital brand experience influenced whether or not they eventually purchased a product or service from that brand.
Think about that. Clearly, what happens with your brand online matters - a lot.
There is a lot more to digest in this report, but that's the gist of it. It got me thinking about the 2012 election (candidates are brands, after all). By then, its safe to say that even more people will be "connected consumers' and even more of them will be engaging with brands online. Those candidates who focus on creating digital "brand experiences" with themselves for the public could gain a lot at a relatively low cost.
That will be the subject of a future post.