By Jill McCubbin

The most recent Neilsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries concludes that 9 in every 10 Internet consumers worldwide (90 percent) trust recommendations from people they know, while seven in every ten (70 percent) trust consumer opinions posted online.

And how do consumers share recommendations with “people they know”? Using one-to-one direct connections like email and text messaging of course, but increasingly via one-to-many social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter... and they are using their smartphones.

Nielsen reports "the market is primed for accelerated growth well into 2010. The Gartner Group predicts that smartphone sales will account for 46% of all mobile phone sales worldwide by 2013." Also,

SMS (short message services), or text messages, reached 4.2 billion standard rate transactions in the U.S. on AT&T and Verizon in Q2 2009. The clear leader was Twitter with 1.3 billion messages, followed by FOX (due in large part to MySpace) with 740 million texts, Facebook at 465 million, and 4INFO at 257 million transactions. Total traffic was generated by 50 million unique users.

Yet, the Twitterati, or (social) networked consumer phenomenon, doesn’t negate solid online branding efforts. The Nielsen survey says brand websites – the most trusted form of advertiser-led promotion – are depended upon by as many people (70 percent) as consumer opinions posted online.

And check out the stats (in the chart above) on the importance of good old fashioned editorial content and other forms of mainstream media – still holding up/ahead of sexy search engine results ads.

What it all means is that today’s marketers have to master what they knew, and learn (fast) what they don’t know, while keeping in mind our CEO’s observation that “the only two media that haven’t had to co-exist with the others are stone tablets and lamb-skin scrolls. Everything else has required marketers to adapt and integrate new media into their existing media mix.”

Need help? We’re here for you.

(Jill McCubbin is a conversation architect with market2world communications inc., Ottawa, Canada's tech PR and product marketing agency.)

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