NEW YORK (7/20/09)--Thirty percent of U.S. Internet users recently surveyed say they go online to manage their finances. That sounds like a lot, but don't get cocky. In the scheme of things, "managing finances" isn't a popular reason to log on. In fact, it is No. 19 on a list of 21 reasons to go online. The Ruder Finn Intent Index, conducted in second quarter 2009 by the Ruder Finn public relations agency, found that the No. 1 reason to go online was to "pass the time." Of those surveyed, 100% said this was a reason they log on (eMarketer
July 17). Other top reasons: educate oneself (96%), connect with others (92%), research (89%) and share (86%). The least common intentions for logging in--and here’s where credit unions may need to do a little more marketing--were to make purchases (33%), manage finances (30%), comparison shop (28%) and join a cause (26%). "Intent is the new demographic," said Kathy Bloomgarden, co-CEO of the research firm. "Delving deeper into the underlying motivations of online behavior is critical to developing proactive strategies. Just being online is not enough to leverage digital channels to drive business imperatives. Audiences must be targeted upon their intent," she added. Roughly three in five Americans (63%) log on to influence others' opinions or express contrasting or oppositional views, while 72% go online to become part of a community. Eighty percent go online to socialize--twice as many as those who log on to shop online or do business. Online business isn't dead, but marketers who can't connect with their consumers' intent do so at their own peril, said the firm in a press release. Ruder Finn divided the responses into six categories, from most common to least common:
* Learn; * Have fun; * Socialize; * Express oneself; * Advocate; * Do business; and * Shop.
Of those surveyed, men were more likely to go online for business, entertainment and to keep informed on news and current events. Women were more likely to log on to advocate for a cause or issue, express themselves and socialize. For more information, use the links.