It makes sense that new media users seek out corporate and brand information at sites like Facebook or other social networks. In the past year, the number of173143_made_in_usa consumers using these tools to check out a company or brand increased from 59% to 78%.  According to the 2009 Cone Consumer New Media Study, these consumers are looking for more than an online presence when it comes to their favorite marketers. They expect the marketers to interact with them online (89%).

Here’s the type of interaction these consumers favor:

  • Social networks: 30%
  • Online games: 24%

And here’s what consumers expect from this additional interaction when it comes to marketer priorities:

  • Problem solving: 61%
  • Providing information such as  what a product contains or how it’s made: 85%

The results of the Cone study correlate with the findings of  the Global Edelman goodpurpose Survey, 2009 I highlighted last week. Beyond solving problems and providing information, consumers expect marketers to demonstrate their commitment to corporate  responsibility. Here’s a snapshot of consumer opinions on this topic:

  • I can influence business decisions by making my opinion known: 62%
  • I have made my point-of-view known on an issue: 24%
  • I have contacted a company directly: 23%
  • I expect to hear about a marketer’s corporate responsibility practice: 74%

Jonathan Yohannan, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Cone emphasizes that marketers have “an opportunity to engage them [consumers] beyond information-seeking behavior to build a relationship that can be mutually beneficial for both consumers and companies.”

Cone analysts also point out that “forward-thinking companies”  still have time to gain a competitive edge by taking steps now to establish a close relationship with new-media-using consumers.

[Source:  Cone New Media release, October 20, 2009]