Just thought I'd share Yahoo's survey on VoIP, which Yahoo! Search Marketing recently commissioned by the National American Testing Organization, to explore how consumers use Internet search in researching and purchasing VoIP service. The findings include helpful insight for service providers in how to drive subscriptions using search advertising techniques that deliver both information and branded value messages to consumers.
Highlights of the VoIP study, summarized in the press release below, include this key statistic: two thirds of the survey respondents said Internet search was "an indispensable research tool." In other words, Yahoo has VoIP (Yahoo Messenger) and Yahoo is a leading search engine. Hmmm, Yahoo is a leading Search Engine + Yahoo has VoIP = Yahoo becoming leading VoIP service provider?
Actually, they are simply saying using Yahoo can help you find other VoIP service providers. Though you have to wonder when the search engines start offering VoIP and other non-search related services if they will start giving their own services a "top ranking" in their search results sparking anti-competitive cries that will make Microsoft look like a saint and turn the EU's attention away from Microsoft. Perhaps 2006 will be the year Google truly breaks their "Do no evil" mantra by promoting their own services in the search results and Yahoo and the other search engines follow suit? Maybe I should add that to my 2006 predictions? It's probably unlikely this would happen due to the firestorm it would create, but never say never.
Consumers Turn To Internet Search to Research VoIP Products and Services
Yahoo! Survey Finds Two Thirds of Respondents View Internet Search as an "Indispensable Research Tool"
Burbank, Calif., January 18, 2006 - Yahoo! Inc., a leading global Internet company, today announced key findings from a new survey commissioned by the National American Testing Organization exploring the role Internet Search plays in the research process for consumers seeking VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calling solutions. The survey, conducted in August of 2005 using a nationally representative sample of US adults with high-speed connections at home, found Internet Search to be the most trusted, essential information resource for consumers researching VoIP calling services.
Key findings of the study include:
- The Internet and Search play leading roles in the consumer research process for VoIP services. Close to 90% of the people surveyed used the Internet to obtain more information about VoIP services. Of those users, 67% turned to Internet Search as their primary tool for research followed by internet provider or phone company Web sites at 49%.
- Search is the most relevant and trusted resource for conducting research. Nearly 80% of those who used Internet Search to research said it is the best source for obtaining information regarding VoIP services and 66% said they "couldn't make a good decision without it". The vast majority of VoIP researchers (70%) will use Internet Search the next time they research VoIP services.
- Search is highly valuable throughout the entire buying cycle. Although Internet Search is prevalent in all stages of the buying cycle, it is strongest as a research and comparison tool where consumers are looking to learn about the technology, discover VoIP brands and as a critical tool in determining differentiation between competitors. However, 48% of those who used search to research said they did so to learn how to sign-up and start using VoIP.
- A multi-channel approach is best for driving maximum awareness. The results of the survey showed traditional media (31%) and the Internet (28%) as the two primary sources used to drive initial awareness of VoIP technology, products and services. Television spots (14%), banner ads (14%) and newspaper/magazine ads (10%) held the top three spots.