Are "Consumers" Really That Different From Business Owners, Executives and Industrial Entities?

LinkedIn has been the preferred social network for professionals for a long time and the latest research shows that it's also the preferred network for consumers as well.
The highest percentage of online consumers think having a LinkedIn account is important,according to an April 2011 study from ROI Research and Performics. Data from “S-Net: A Study in Social Media Usage and Behavior” indicates 59% of online consumers rate having a LinkedIn account 4 or 5 on a five-point importance scale, compared to 53% giving this level of importance to having a Facebook account.

Since professionals are also consumers -- this shouldn't come as a big surprise. Please excuse my tongue-in-cheek response to this information.  The way the results of some surveys are reported, it's as if business people and CEOs are somehow NOT human beings and don't make decisions like other human beings -- as if they spend their time on some other parallel universe that doesn't include the products, services and advertising that the rest of us see -- that they are NOT AFFECTED by the things that grab "consumers" time.   And since the Anthony Weiner story has been in the press, we see that the roles you play in your professional life aren't magically separated by the time you spend at work.

I recently saw a quote from a study published "by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) suggesting that a majority of gamers today range between the ages of 37 and 41 years old"  If that's the case, then there's a good chance that a good percentage of the millions of business owners out there go home and spend a few hours killing bad guys on their xBox or just catching stars on Wii's Mario Galaxy with their kids.

If there is any lesson to grab from what the research is telling us, it's that your personal brand is more important than the title that you hold.  Another important trend to observe is how our personal and professional lives are merging into one.  And this means that the way we gather feedback and information from our audience will have to change.

Don't expect to see a big difference between industrial surveys and consumer surveys.  After all, mobile devices have made it possible to do our work from just about anywhere.  And that means that your audience will be taking your survey in between responding to Tweets and Facebook updates and while connecting on LinkedIn.