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The folks over at BurstMedia just released some new information on internet usage that I thought you'd find interesting. Highlights include...

* More than half of respondents (57.1%) to the survey say that the internet is their primary source for information on products or services
* Men are more likely than women to say the internet is their primary source (61.9% vs 50.3%) while people 65 and older agree much less than half the time (41.7%)
* Besides the age and M/F differences, use of the internet as the primary source for product/service info increases with reported income going from a low of 50.6% to a high of 69.2% for HH incomes of more than $75,000
* TV is still the most effective at capturing attention by almost half the respondents (49.8%) followed by the internet (22.3%), magazines (11.8%), newspapers (10.3%), and radio (5.9%)
There is more information on internet use including video, but I'll stop right there because it reminds me of a conversation I had with the head of a digital agency a while back. He said to me: "I believe that each medium should be used for what it does best: TV for branding and the internet for direct response."
I like to take it a step further and say that the internet is the only direct marketing channel that can brand, too. I still believe that TV is the best vehicle for reaching the widest audience possible with a branding message. Magazines still provide some usefulness, but advertising in newspapers is a complete waste of time. Radio still serves a purpose because what else are you supposed to do when you are sitting in traffic? XM and Sirius have commercials on some of the major channels. Direct mail... well, that strategy should be kept under a garbage can lid with the rest of the mail pieces, unless you are trying to target a certain age or income demographic.
I think we should start paying more attention to age and income demographics when deciding on marketing channels, because I don't know about you, but that age reference is very enlightening. It is too bad they didn't provide an age distribution because I'm sure the youth of America are not sitting around too much watching TV. My own kids are growing up on TiVo and can't understand why we can't skip through the commercials when we watch live TV. My 4-year-old daughter has NEVER watched TV without TiVo and in fact refers to television as TiVo.

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Eric Frenchman is an online marketing and advertising consultant located in the Great State of New Jersey and Chief Internet Strategist for the online political agency Connell Donatelli Inc. Since 1998, Eric has managed multi-million dollar online advertising and CRM campaigns for AT&T, DLJdirect, Harrisdirect, and BMO Investorline and is a recognized expert in online marketing and advertising techniques. In 2005, Harrisdirect was ranked as the 17th largest online advertiser in the US and in 2003 was recognized as Best Financial Advertiser. Eric Frenchman's marketing blog is located here: