The number of consumers who are tuning out traditional media and advertising, and using consumer-to-consumer communication like blogging, mobile messaging, comparison shopping sites, word-of-mouth marketing, and peer-to-peer networks continues to rise. These technologies will have a significant impact on the way companies uncover consumer insight and accelerate the innovation of products, services, and design. According to new data unveiled by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) at its annual Consumer Forum:

  • Blogging: Ten percent of consumers read blogs once a week or more, compared with 5 percent in 2004.
  • Real Simple Syndication (RSS): Six percent of consumers use RSS feeds once a week or more, compared with 2 percent in 2004.
  • Social networking: Six percent of consumers use social networking sites once a week or more, compared with 4 percent in 2004.

“Technology has given consumers an option to tune businesses out ¿ and tune each other in,” says Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director Chris Charron. “On the flip side, technology has given businesses an opportunity to gain greater customer insights at a lower cost. These insights give businesses an opportunity to use consumers’ ideas and creativity to drive their innovation of products, services, marketing, and design.”

Effective businesses are re-orienting their innovation process from an authoritarian “top-down” approach to more of a “bottom-up” one using technologies ¿ such as smart point-of-sale systems ¿ and insights from consumer-to-consumer communication ¿ such as blogs and social networking sites ¿ to incorporate a higher level of customer input into the innovation process, an approach Forrester calls “consumer-driven innovation.”

Forrester’s Consumer Forum 2005 will take place September 27-28 and attract more than 650 business, marketing, and IT executives to the New York Marriott Marquis.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Greg Joswiak, Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing for iPod, Apple Computer
  • Vyomesh Joshi, Executive Vice President, Imaging and Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard
  • Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner, National Football League
  • Gerald L. Storch, Vice Chairman, Target
  • Marise Kumar, Vice President, General Manager Emerging Brands Categories, Whirlpool

Forum Tracks:

In-depth tracks and roundtable discussions focused on the retail, consumer products, healthcare, automotive, telecommunications, travel and leisure, media, and consumer electronics industries, featuring executives from companies such as, Colgate-Palmolive, Best Buy, frog design, LEGO, Neiman Marcus, Nextel, Nokia, Procter & Gamble, REI, Stop & Shop, Time, Victoria’s Secret, and Yahoo!

The data referenced in this release is from Forrester’s Devices & Access Online Survey of 5,279 North American consumers. The survey was fielded in July 2005.