State of the net issue 17 - Summer 2010


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Social media strategies for Irish businesses is the theme of the summer 2010 edition of State of the Net. It also covers trends in online banking, B2B sales, internet use, online scams and business use of online telephony.

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State of the net issue 17 - Summer 2010

  1. 1. State of the Net essential eBusiness intelligence for Irish managers A quarterly bulletin on online activity in Ireland ISSN: 1649 issue 17 Summer 2010 Social media: business benefits beyond the fluff growing number who realise Use of social the power of social media but often need to be convinced of the business value. The media sites 1.58m users reality is that there can be considerable, tangible benefits, once there is a strategy in , 467,000 mobile users Ireland 124 place focused on business friends imperatives, the channels to average use and how to manage them. Let’s start with some facts. First Facebook and its use in 85% Return 9bn monthly Ireland. Since January 2009, weekly page Aileen O’Toole, views Managing Director, the number of Irish active Worldwide AMAS users has quadrupled to 1.6 million. Almost a third access 22.2 minutes 2.6per Facebook on their mobile visits Ignore at your peril? Or all fluff and little substance? phones. 55% of Irish users are female and there is rapid growth in adoption levels 65m per day 430m users day Social media and their among the over-35s, who now users worldwide © AMAS graphic ( importance attract account for 30% of users. Over Over divergent views and lead to Research much confusion about their 15 15m 35 35m Sources: Facebook and Next LinkedIn. Irish stats are Europe North LinkedIn data, May 2010 relevance to businesses. hard to come by – recent America research from 02 found that At one extreme, stand the 18% of Irish business owners Over Over social media “anoraks” or directors have LinkedIn 3m 9m birthday and the statistics who insist that companies Central / South are breathtaking. For profiles. A succession of America Asia Pacific that don’t tweet, blog instance, the volume of video international studies point to Over or connect on social its value for business. It rates 3m m uploaded every week is the networks are dinosaurs. Middle East / Africa equivalent of 130,000 full-length highest of all social media sites At the other are those Hollywood movie releases. among US sales professionals who dismiss it all as a fad; for generating leads and for Twitter relayed the national as a result, they may miss shock about the sudden death The reach of social media sites building awareness. business opportunities and Research of RTÉ’s Gerry Ryan? Within makes them difficult to ignore. sometimes are unaware hours it was the hottest story But what about the relevance? What about Twitter? Again Outbound prospecting 3.7 that their corporate or among Twitter’s 105 million Here’s a brief overview. Facebook there are no Irish stats but personal reputations are world-wide users. is best used in a B2C context but growing evidence of its taking a pounding online. Website works better for some brands 2.9 worth as a news channel. And then there’s YouTube. than others as a marketing Remember Dan Boyle and the In between, there are a Willie O’Dea saga? Or how It’s just celebrated its fifth Email campaigns 2.6 continued on page 4 Inbound calls 2.6 Laptops Generate Events and tradeshows 2.5 overtake B2B leads Social networking sites 2.1 PCs Direct mailonline 2.1 page 3 Webinars page 5 1.8 0 1 2 3 4 5 Compiled by AMAS in association with the Irish Internet Association
  2. 2. 1. Internet use Increase in average hours spent online 2008-2009 More people out of work with time on few surprises – they’re more likely to be their hands. More using the internet to find jobs. Greater use of social younger, students and Dublin-based. 2008 hrs media sites. And, of course, more Meanwhile, despite the recession broadband subscribers. there is still considerable demand for © AMAS graphic ( broadband. Newly published figures All these factors have resulted in Irish for the final quarter of 2009 show the people spending more time online. In 2009, the average internet user was total number of broadband subscribers at 1.44 million, a 20% increase year- 2009 hrs online for 13.2 hours a week, compared on-year. Mobile subscribers are the with 10 hours a week the previous year, fastest-growing category, accounting according to the latest ComReg data. for 467,000 subscribers, an increase of The profile of the heavy users offers 51% on 2008 levels. Heavy internet user 1,500,000 1,443,350 Broadband growth • 25-34 year olds (15 hours) 1,400,000 1,305,035 • ABs (14.2 hours) 1,300,000 1,272,166 • C1s (14.6 hours) 1,361,254 1,200,255 • Dublin based (15.6 hours) 1,200,000 1,125,000 • Students (14.2 hours) © AMAS graphic 1,100,000 Times are all weekly ( 1,055,000 992,000 976,381 1,000,000 949,399 886,300 Sources: ComReg Consumer ICT Survey 900,000 934,611 conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne, 917,492 793,000 891,346 800,000 856,400 December 2009 – January 2010. Based on a 833,000 693,000 806,000 sample of 1,003 adults aged 15-74 700,000 758,800 705,000 © AMAS graphic ( Broadband: ComReg Quarterly Key Data Report, 600,000 653,000 March 2010. Green line shows all platforms, with the exception of mobile, while the orange line Q2 07 Q3 07 Q4 07 Q1 08 Q2 08 Q3 08 Q4 08 Q1 09 Q2 09 Q3 09 Q4 09 includes mobile broadband 2. Online scams You get prompted to change your banking passwords. A distant relative who died in a car crash in Venezuela has left you a $22.56 million legacy. You’ve just won a dream holiday in the Seychelles. Scams received % Sound familiar? Our email Inboxes are clogged with Any scam 75 email scams. National Consumer Agency research reveals that online scams of all kinds are the most Email 52 common experienced by consumers. Email is tops, Post 39 accounting for 52% of reported scam attempts. Social media scams are becoming more prevalent, Phone SMS 29 experienced by 23% of consumers, while 29% recalled receiving scam text messages. eCommerce scams Social media 23 © AMAS graphic ( are rarer, reported by just 17%. Buying online 17 Commenting on the findings, market researcher Behaviour & Attitudes reported that internet related 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 scams are much more prevalent among men, among Source: National Consumer Agency Awareness and Experience of Scams the middle class and among those living in Dublin. This Research, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, March 2010. Based on a mirrors the structure of the online, working population. sample of 1,007 adults aged 16+
  3. 3. Top Trends 3. Laptops and PCs Laptop and PC ownership Laptop ownership is now greater than PC ownership in Ireland. One in three people owns a laptop, which translates into a doubling of market share in about two years, according to computer ownership research. Fewer consumers are opting for PCs, which show a decline in market penetration from 36% to 26% in the course of the year. Falling prices, competition among traditional retailers, online deals and convenience are all contributing to greater laptop sales. © AMAS graphic ( Laptop owner • 18-24 years old (47%) © AMAS graphic This research would indicate that gadgets, including laptops and PCs, are ( weathering the recessionary storm better than other consumer goods. • 25-34 years old (48%) • Students (47%) The proportion of consumers with both laptops and PCs stands at 15%, • ABC1s (39%) compared with 11% the previous year. • Owners of mobile phones only (43%) • Those with broadband connection (45%) Source: ComReg Consumer ICT Survey conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne, • Munster (31%) December 2009 – January 2010. Based on a sample of 1,003 adults aged 15-74 At last some good news from the banking sector. Despite the turmoil in other areas of operation, online banking 4. Online banking continues to perform strongly. In 2009, some 34.5 million online payments were Millions International payments Mobile top-ups Domestic payments processed through the Irish banking 10 system, representing 13% growth 9 compared with 2008. The number of Online banking payments banking customers who have registered 8 © AMAS graphic ( for online banking grew by 16% to 7 2.6 million. And the number of times customers accessed their accounts 6 online showed a similar level of growth – 5 up 17% to 136.1 million times. 4 The taxpayer, who has had to prop up 3 many of our banks, can take a little 2 comfort from the numbers. Strong © AMAS graphic ( online banking adoption translates into 1 lower operating costs and, in theory, is 0 good for taxpayers in their new role as Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 bank shareholders. 2007 2007 2007 2007 2008 2008 2008 2008 2009 2009 2009 2009 Source: Irish Bankers Federation/Irish Payment Services Organisation, quarterly report, March 2010 based on data supplied by 11 financial institutions the opportunity to win online
  4. 4. 00% 80% 5. Online telephony 60% 100% 50 44 Cost control is the mantra for many businesses. 39 40 40% Yet it is larger businesses, rather than SMEs which 32 80% are achieving significant cost savings on their telecommunications bills. They are signing up to 29 Business use of VoIP Voice over IP (VoIP) services in greater numbers. 60% Some 50% of corporates were using these 50 20% services in 2009. 14 12 44 40 40% 9 10 39 Among SMEs, defined as businesses with fewer 32 7 than 100 employees, adoption levels are still 5 29 2 3 © AMAS graphic ( low – 12% in 2010, from 10% on the previous year. 0% Eircom is the top VoiP provider for the corporate 20% 14 12 market, with a share of 31% compared with 18% 9 10 H1’05 H2’05 H1’06 a year ago. Among SMEs, Skype is the favourite, H2’06 H1’08 2 3 H1’097 H1’10 5 with a 40% share of VoiP services. 0% H1’05 H2’05 H1’06 H2’06 H1’08 H1’09 H1’10 SMEs Corporate SMEs Corporate Source: ComReg SME & Corporate ICT Research conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne, February – March 2010. Based on a sample of 497 SMEs and 53 Corporates, SMEs are defined as companies with less than 100 employees continued from front page and communications channel. Managed well, LinkedIn can be valuable for B2B relationship building, lead generation and recruitment (although that can have its downsides as well as an upside). Twitter offers value for customer service, special offers and crisis communications. All three, and the multiplicity of other social media platforms, present opportunities as well as challenges. Having a social media strategy grounded in the overall business strategy is a starting point. Ignore what the anoraks © AMAS graphic ( say – a business does not have to be active across every platform. Instead, you need to select the Source: Google 2010 best channels which deliver on a business goal. Investment will be and they’re 24/7 media, There will be more benefits of social media outweigh the risks. needed, primarily in time. online conversations about your brand or your people. Often they will be different Aileen O’Toole is currently leading a Anticipate challenges. There will kinds of conversations and your business number of social media strategy projects be more channels to manage may not be in control. That said, the business for AMAS clients.
  5. 5. Top Trends 6. B2B sales Sources that generate the most qualified leads Winning businesses in qualified B2B leads. Despite all Outbound prospecting 3.7 international markets used to the noise about social media, it be all about shoe leather. Not still plays second fiddle to email Website 2.9 any more. As Irish businesses in terms of lead generation. strive to land more businesses Email campaigns 2.6 in international markets, they That said, the research noted need to ensure their websites are that social media is as helpful Inbound calls 2.6 primed for buyers and for lead as direct mail and that more generation. sales professionals are getting Events and tradeshows 2.5 harder returns from LinkedIn, in US research shows that particular. The research found Social networking sites 2.1 a company’s website that B2B sales cycles in the US ranks second to traditional are longer but that pipelines are Direct mail 2.1 prospecting in generating growing. Green shoots, perhaps. Webinars 1.8 © AMAS graphic ( Source: OneSource B2B Sales Pulse Survey, March 2010. Based on a sample of 136 B2B sales professionals. 1 = least qualified leads, 5 = most qualified leads 0 1 2 3 4 5 Policy behind the campaign with clear benefits for our capabilities to the widest The campaign’s themes economy and community. possible audience, showing include: For example, a recent how the internet can be • Business productivity white paper1 by the Digital used to communicate with • Connectivity Media Forum estimated that friends and family and do • Entrepreneurship providing digital literacy business in exciting new • Ireland as a European training will give Ireland: ways. hub • Productivity gains of €2.1 • The consumer and billion per year social media Joan Mulvihill • A 3-10% wage premium CEO, Irish Internet Association for those who choose to The IIA will have daily upgrade their ICT skills in updates on a microsite at Ireland, The digital economy is • Benefits of €1.6 billion per from webinars and the economy – we just year in communities at risk workshops to animators need to bring everyone of poverty and treasure hunts. The else online. That’s the IIA has also partnered with thinking behind “Digitise the The “Digitise the Nation”, which Nation”, the new national campaign runs from 16-21 will cover the events across campaign organised by May, including the anchor IIA members will use its titles and feature online the Irish Internet Association event of the IIA’s Annual the campaign to reach video interviews with key (IIA). It aims to showcase Conference on 20 May. This out to local business industry thought leaders and the internet’s benefits to is an exciting opportunity for and community groups, the keynote addresses at business and society, with IIA members to collectively organising a wide range the IIA Annual Conference, the simple but ambitious promote our internet of activities for businesses Vision2020. goal of getting Ireland industry, building awareness to improve performance online. and ultimately sales. online, as well as Source: 1 “Why Digital Skills?”, For “Digitise the Nation” helping communities The Digital Media Forum, Digital literacy is increasingly the association’s members to come together and 1 March 2010, seen as an essential life skill, will bring their skills and communicate.
  6. 6. Get research alerts on new AMAS website AMAS’s website has been • The site had to be accessible relaunched with new features to AA level of WAI WCAG 2.0 and functionality developed (great for the search engines on the world’s favourite online robots, but also for publishing platform. The site the humans) integrates and showcases the • An effective site-wide search most popular AMAS content had to be incorporated -- the online versions of State Next on the agenda is a mobile of the Net and our blog which version of the site, in recognition offers insights and analysis on of higher mobile internet usage digital trends. in Ireland particularly among our target audiences. Internet users can get updates Visit the new site on through a new research alerts function or on Twitter. In planning the new site, by a scalable, flexible and Blog content is syndicated we took a large dose of the free technology platform Follow AMAS throughout the site, with feeds medicine we dish out to clients: (WordPress, now used by on Twitter providing contextual links • The site had to support many Fortune 500 companies) @AMASInternet across the main channels business strategy with goals • Content had to be through RSS (or Really Simple measured through site analytics reviewed, revised, Reuse State Syndication). Also, clients can • Graphic design had to be originated and optimised of the Net access project documentation “on brand” • It had to achieve a high graphics www.slideshare. through the website’s extranet. • The site had to be powered standard of usability net/AMASinternet From the AMAS blog.... AMAS: what we do AMAS is an internet consultancy Best job in the world with a simple goal – help our clients to exploit the internet. major campaign. caretaker on an idyllic confident that it Large corporates, government The campaign has island for six months would work. But bodies and, increasingly, high- transformed the on a handsome they could not have potential businesses retain us to Queensland tourism salary. Applicants known how well. The develop and help implement industry and set a had to make short headline figures are: internet strategies. new benchmark videos saying why • Media coverage We cut through the clutter for viral marketing they should get the estimated to be and the complexity to allow campaigns using job and from these worth AU$400 million our clients to capitalise on the social media. Jane a shortlist, a group of (€278m), including unlimited opportunities offered Fiachra Ó Marcaigh, Nicholson, UK and finalists and a winner a BBC programme by the internet. Director, AMAS Ireland Director of were selected. and a special slot on Tourism Queensland, Oprah Winfrey’s show Services: drew a full house at Insider’s view • An audience reach • Strategy One year on, the Internet World when The Best Job in the of 31 million people • Research “Best Job in the she spoke about the World campaign • 34,684 one-minute • User experience World” social media campaign. has been extensively video applications • Content marketing campaign studied and posted on YouTube • Training is still making the The objective was described, but from 200 countries • Marketing news and promoting to raise the tourism Nicholson gave an • 8.75 million visits to • Project management Queensland. A TV profile of the islands on insider’s view from the campaign online series arising from it is Australia’s Great Barrier its early stages right Contact Aileen O’Toole, about to go on air and Reef. The idea was through to today. Read the full report Managing Director on the team behind it is simple: to advertise the She said that the on the AMAS blog +353 1 6610499 or working on another dream job of being team behind it was © AMAS Ltd. Published by AMAS Ltd., 38 Lr. Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. Tel: +353 1 6610499 Email: Web: