Business Embraces Tools to Inform, Educate and Influence

Oregon businesses have gone from skeptics to embracing digital communication during the past five years. They routinely use e-newsletters and social media to communicate with and engage customers and peers.

A recent CFM/Oregon Business Input survey (April 2013) among 455 Oregon Business subscribers found at least half are using Business Social Networks/LinkedIn (54 percent), digital newsletters (52 percent) and consumer social networks/Facebook-Twitter (50 percent). Blogs (28 percent) and online panels (12 percent) are also used, but less frequently.

All forms of digital communications for business have seen significant growth since 2008, including a 40-point increase in the use of consumer social media platforms and a 30-point jump in the use of business social media platforms.

These results indicate that businesses are trying to adapt to the changing communications landscape. According to a Pew Research study (In Changing News Landscape, Even Television is Vulnerable) where, how and why people are getting information has changed during the past decade. Traditional media is still strong among those age 55 years and older, while younger audiences prefer online and digital media. Print readership is declining and many traditional newspapers, such as The Oregonian, are beefing up online capabilities while cutting print. Increased consumer use of smartphones and mobile technology also are driving change.

Tracking the way businesses communicate is not just interesting, but highlights that change is having a profound impact on marketers and communicators. The job of reaching, informing and influencing customers and the public is more difficult today that just five years ago. Those organizations that learn how to use and integrate traditional and digital communications effectively are more likely to be successful than those who don’t.

 

2008

2009

2013

Change ’08 to ‘13

Business social network, LinkedIn

24%

40%

54%

+ 30

e-newsletter

43%

49%

52%

+ 9

Consumer social network, Facebook/Twitter

10%

32%

50%

+ 40

Blogs

13%

22%

28%

+ 15

Online panels

7%

10%

12%

+ 5

                                                                                       % using each