Magid: offline brand feelings transfer to online

Magid: offline brand feelings transfer to online.
Internetnews.com is reporting that frequent visitors to media Web sites feel the same emotional connection with the online presence as they do with the offline property. The statement comes from a Magid study of Internet users on Websites of Online Publishers Association (OPA) members, like Knight Ridder Digital, Belo Interactive, Scripps Networks, Tribune Interactive, the Wall Street Journal Online, The Hearst Corporation, and Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed enjoy the media brand’s Web site; 71 percent trust it; 69 percent look forward to visiting it; 56 percent rely on it; and 47 percent miss it when they can’t access it. Related offline properties scored very similarly — a couple of points higher in some cases, a few lower in others.

“This research has significant implications for advertisers,” said Michael Zimbalist, executive director of the OPA. “By developing effective cross-media messaging, advertisers can take advantage of the considerable overlap in online and offline media brand usage.”

The study also found usage of media Web sites is becoming part of people’s daily habits. Forty-four percent of consumers say they frequently visit national news sites out of habit, and 23 percent say their visits are geared toward fun or just to relax. Other uses for national news sites were more conventional. Sixty-eight percent go to such sites to get national news. Others go for breaking news (64 percent), and international news (52 percent).

While this study only talked to frequent users of online media, it’s terribly significant IMO. That number is growing, and this study provides a nice baseline for future examination. More importantly, the findings illustrate the absolute necessity of a strong online presence for traditional media outlets, and that includes local news. While most of the OPA members have broadcast divisions, the bulk of the organization’s weight comes from the print industry. Let me repeat the reality that newspapers are — for the most part — far ahead of local broadcasters in the New Media competitive race.

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