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Digital Marketing Factbook: A Glimpse Inside

October 27, 2009

How US consumers spend their time online has shifted significantly in the past five years, according to Online Publishers Association (OPA) data presented in the Digital Marketing Factbook (Q4 2009) recently published by MarketingProfs.

The Digital Marketing Factbook, designed to be a comprehensive source of data and research for online marketers, includes chapters on email, search, and social media—with 144 pages of findings, including 110 charts and graphs from 60+ sources.

In 2004, US consumers spent 42% of their online time on communications-related activities such as reading and sending email, whereas now they spend only 27% of their time doing so, according to the OPA data cited in the Factbook.

What's filled the gap? Community-focused social networking sites such as Facebook, which now account for 13% of users' time, up from virtually nothing in 2004:

Key findings:

  • In addition to devoting more of their online time to community sites, consumers today are spending more time on content sites and search, and less time on commerce sites, than they were in 2004.
  • As for what specific activities US adults perform online today:
    —90% send or read emails
    —88% use search engines
    —76% check the weather
    —75% buy a product
    —72% get news
    —66% to make or buy a travel reservation
    —60% to look for news or information about politics
    (According to April 2009 data from the Pew Internet & American Life project included in the Factbook.)


The "Online Overview" that opens the Digital Marketing Factbook presents the information above, as well as data on Internet usage worldwide, typical marketing budgets, most successful and most used tactics, and marketing ROI—including, in all, 21 charts.

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  • by Don Lafferty Wed Oct 28, 2009 via web

    Tremendous data in this report. This is the kind of hard data a professional marketer needs to articulate potential objectives to a client.

    This isn't good stuff, it's GREAT stuff.

  • by Melissa Thu Oct 29, 2009 via web

    The samples seem very B2C focused, is there information in here for B2B?

  • by Beth Harte, Community Manager, MarketingProfs Thu Oct 29, 2009 via web

    Don, thanks for the feedback! Glad you find the factbook valuable for your work with clients. :)

    Melissa, I have a copy of the Digital Marketing Factbook and as a B2B marketer for 15 years, I can tell you that the factbook is a nice blend of stats that are applicable to both B2B and B2C. Personally, and in my experience, I think general stats (i.e. purchasing decisions or digital marketing component results) don't automatically fall into the B2C category...they are just as valid for B2B.

  • by Beth Mon Nov 2, 2009 via web

    I am glad that you are sharing this great information! It would be intersting to see if there are any variances by industry or geography. And, I agree with Melissa...B2B is important too!

  • by Martha Reynolds Fri Nov 6, 2009 via web

    Do the stats capture and or paint a different picture for Canada?

  • by Don Lafferty Fri Nov 6, 2009 via web

    The full report breaks down Internet usage by region and country.

  • by jonny jones Mon Dec 7, 2009 via web

    To the point, practical better than I expected!

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