We created the GlobalWebIndex with one key goal. We wanted to enable clients and users to analyse the reality of how their specific target audiences use the internet.

We found time and time again that there was a huge knowledge gap, being filled by hype and speculation. We found that brands didn’t have the ability to understand how their target audience is using the internet, a need that is critical when delivering credible strategy and implementation online.

Too often online, mobile and social media strategy is being built on freely available top line data found through Google searches or provided by some of the legacy providers in the market place. This data will tell you a very limited story.. For example; “The internet is a big deal”, “Everyone is sharing content” or “Facebook is bigger than your branded website”.

Freely available and non-segmented data is, in short, a very dangerous thing. It leads to “Me Too” thinking, with everyone pushing or developing the same concepts and focusing on the same platforms. If everyone uses the same shallow data consumers will be bombarded with untargeted messages and generic brand presence, and in social media, will become more familiar and increasingly less effective.

You need the detail of how and why consumers do what they do. For example, if you know that Facebook is key to your target audience and fits your brand, you need to know how they use it, what proportion are contributors Vs. passives and how to engage both, why they do it and how they want to interact with your brand. It is not acceptable just to know that Facebook is important.

Many seem to think a social media strategy starts and ends with whether we have a presence on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. If all your data says is “be on Facebook”, you are stabbing in the dark and investing significant money and resources without a clear view of what conversations, content and services to develop will make you successful and you are selling the breadth and impact of social media short.

This shallow thinking needs to stop and it has to be led by credible segmented data that tells the story for your specific target audience and business category. Let’s move away from generic and towards making smart decisions leading to a unique, interesting and profitable online presence.

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