Shop. Lunch. Shop. Employers take aim against Internet primetime's core audience: at-work surfers.
There's been a lot in the press about online traffic throughout daypart. High-speed access coupled with the sheer amount of time people spend in the office equals surfing at work.
This may hardly seem like a big deal to you (you're probably online right now), but employers are starting to balk. Several software companies offer tools to track sites employees surf. Many companies determine which activities are allowed on individual PCs and block access to sites deemed timewasters. At my agency, we cannot access many sites from our offices.
If this seems absurd, think about productivity. Think about how much time you surf non-work-related sites from your work computer. Now, think about the best way to target other at-work users while knowing this is going on. This could create speed bumps.
Before we think about flighting media buys against this target audience, let's look at some stats. According to comScore, 59 percent of $45 billion spent on online purchases last year came from the workplace. comScore also tracked Web shopping and other recreational at-work usage by the hours of the day, using a panel of 1.5 million Internet users who allow monitoring of their online habits. Findings include:
Nielsen//NetRatings just released workplace Internet usage findings, including:
What can we learn from this data? First, the numbers seem consistent from research firm to research firm. As advertisers, we must keep a close eye on usage peaks and determine trends. Software companies offering tools to block non-business-related sites are popping up everywhere. It seems third-party ad servers haven't found a way to filter out the companies that use them. Niche targeting could potentially cause impression-level waste.
Even if companies do block access to e-commerce sites, who's to say employees won't just take off and go to the mall? This is something to watch, dear readers.
Seana Mulcahy is vice president, director of interactive media at Mullen (an IPG company). She's been creating online brands since before the first banner was sold. Her expertise includes online and traditional media planning and buying, e-mail marketing, viral marketing, click-stream analysis, customer tracking, promotions, search engine optimization and launching brands online. Prior to Mullen, Seana was vice president of media services at Carat Interactive. She's built online media services divisions for three companies and has worked with clients spanning financial, telecom, high-tech, healthcare and retail. Not surprisingly, she has taught, lectured and written about the industry for numerous trade associations and publications.
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