Economic Impact of the Internet Economy

by Dave Murrow on April 24, 2012

Have you noticed how much more time recently that you are spending on your Internet presence, strategy and commerce? The stakes are definitely higher in 2012 than even just two years ago in 2010. Many more companies have made their Internet presence a priority, and hired social media marketing companies to bring across a greater awareness to consumers, partners and the general public.

Recently, the Boston Consulting Group released a study on the Internet’s economic impact compared to top countries in the world, and how the growth of the Internet economy is surpassing some previously well-known economies from the physical world. It provides a more comprehensive analysis of how the scale and speed of Internet-driven economic growth is changing countries, cultures, and companies around the world.

The results of the study are pretty staggering. The authors of the study write that if the Internet were a national economy, it would rank in the top five countries for GDP in the world. In the U.S. alone, the Internet accounted for $684 billion, or 4.7% of all US economic activity in 2010, according to the report’s authors.

“By 2016, there will be 3 billion Internet users globally—almost half the world’s population,” quote the authors of the report. “The Internet economy will reach $4.2 trillion in the G-20 economies. If it were a national economy, the Internet economy would rank in the world’s top five, behind only the U.S., China, Japan, and India, and ahead of Germany. Across the G-20, it already amounted to 4.1 percent of GDP, or $2.3 trillion, in 2010—surpassing the economies of Italy and Brazil. The Internet is contributing up to 8 percent of GDP in some economies, powering growth, and creating jobs.”

That in itself is huge, but BCG’s forecast shows even more promising growth for Internet-related business and Internet marketing strategy coming from mobile devices in the coming years. The authors write:

“The scale and pace of change is still accelerating, and the nature of the Internet—who uses it, how, and for what—is changing rapidly too. Developing G-20 countries already have 800 million Internet users, more than all the developed G-20 countries combined. Social networks reach about 80 percent of users in developed and developing economies alike. Mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—will account for four out of five broadband connections by 2016.”

Much of our work at Mint Social is centered on how companies can gain a large new online presence with the right digital diligence. We’re proud of having led some companies into the digital realm and watch their online presence take off after a few months of our focused activities around their online branding. We’ve learned that so much of what you put into your Internet presence comes back to you in big dividends in sales, customer growth and overall public awareness.

We’re glad to see the growth forecast in the report. We say – ‘trust in the Internet’ – because as the BCG study shows, it’s only going to get bigger and become a more dominant force in our personal, professional and cultural lives.

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