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Monday, June 06, 2011

Rush Hour For The Internet

1 pm on a week day. For an office-goer aged 25-plus, one would presume it would be lunch time. Perhaps, time to connect with other colleagues or catch up with friends and associates over a meal.

Here's the revelation. The time between 1 pm and 2 pm has emerged as the 'peak hour' in terms of reach of the internet medium. It turns out, when a regular office-goer takes a break for lunch, he actually starts surfing the internet for areas of interest, whether it is emails, portals, banking or shopping.

According to IMRB International's all-India Web Audience Measurement (WAM) data for the month of March, on a base of 43.4 million users, peak hours on the internet vary for people aged 15-24 years and for those who are 25 years and above. In the 25-plus age bracket, the peak hour is between 1 pm and 2 pm with around 19 million users hooked to the net out of the total 25.4 million. This is followed by a declining trend throughout the day until mid-night.

For a youngster aged 15-24 years, the trend would be slightly different. The peak hour shows a stable trend throughout the day between 12 pm and 10-11 pm with 13.6 million users tuned in out of a total of 18 million.

Cut to a weekend, and the peak hour definition gets a little tweaked. The traffic is at its highest at around 12.30 pm for users aged 25 years and above, with about 15 million users. While for a person aged 15-24 years, the peak rush is seen more or less at the same time as his 25-plus counterpart, but there's a stable trend throughout the day with 10.7 million users.

"Internet usage starts reaching a peak from 10-11 am. For the older age groups, the usage peaks again from 1-2 pm. Internet usage in a way compliments the other media vehicles radio and television. So when radio usage starts dropping after the morning drive time, Internet usage picks up and is fairly consistent till evening 6-7 pm time band after which TV picks up," said Balendu Shrivastava, group business director, IMRB International.

It was only in November last year that IMRB International launched WAM to start measuring web rating points, similar to television rating points (TRPs) are used to measure television viewership.

According to IMRB's WAM data, E mail, search and social networking are the top three categories online. Peak hours in terms of usage would be different for each of these.

Marketers want robust measurement tool Unraveling of the peak hour for internet can assist marketers in making informed decisions on advertising. Web measurements would be useful for marketers to identify the right internet portals to use for a pre-defined target audience for a brand.
"These measurements have made what used to be gut-feel spends earlier to a more scientific approach," said Tanya Dubash, executive director & president marketing, Godrej Industries.

According to Dubash, however, the objective of using internet for most advertisers is to build engagement with the brand and not exposure to an advertisement. "Rather than defining our internet spends by peak traffic hours on the internet, we would rather drive our internet spends to placing our ad in the right environment/context that will enable an interaction for the brand with the internet user. So I would always go for an engagement /advocacy model on our internet spends rather than an exposure model based on peak traffic," said Dubash.

Notionally, the concept of peak-hour and non-peak hour already exists among marketers. Dabur India's marketing head (skin care), Sanjay Singal, said, "Even today some companies look at sending out promotion e-mailers on Fridays since they stand a better chance of grabbing greater and quality consumer eyeballs over the weekend when a person surfs the net at leisure. In fact, even with our Dabur Uveda online sales portal, we have witnessed a marked surge in visitor traffic, led mostly by working women."

Considering that internet is mainly dominated by males, young adults and city-users, Dubash said the group's endeavour is to advertise select brands relevant to this audience on the internet. "However given the growing number of mobile users who are accessing the internet, I am estimating the mobile internet to explode across audiences and make internet a viable medium to use for all our brands across all target audiences and that day to me is not too far away in India " said Dubash.

There is a growing interest among advertisers to demystify the internet medium in terms of user profiles. This has prompted market research firms to move in this direction. While IMRB has launched WAM, The Nielson Company , on the other hand, is working on an audience measuring metrics based on the convergence platform. Marketers, however, believe that the robustness of the measurement system is more important so as to instill faith in an advertiser to put his money behind the medium.

At present, ad spends are directed mainly towards the dominant media like television. Online forms merely 2 per cent of the total advertising pie.

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1 comment:

anup said...

Im just wondering because i was watching it yesterday and he really sounds like him and i tried to look for it on the internet