The credit crunch is having an impact on the way consumers use digital technology, which could have repercussions for marketers.

Social Media Portal (SMP) has revealed that the digital environment is changing as consumers look to the web to save money.

Online listing services and sites such as Gumtree and Craiglist are gaining popularity during the downturn, Rachel Hawkes, co-founder of SMP.

“These sites have been popular amongst the savvy for many years, so their increased popularity is not down to better marketing or site usability, but rather word of mouth as people share tips and tricks on how to save a few bucks,” she said.

Fellow co-founder Tim Gibbons, added that “strategic partnerships” could be set up between marketers and social networking sites.

He suggested that social networking sites provide ample opportunity for marketers to target potential customers.

“With the high subscriber and visitor numbers that some social networks receive, they certainly have a decent core audience to at least see if it would work for their current dynamics,” Mr Gibbons said.

Figures from the latest Internet Advertising Bureau report revealed that online classifieds continue to show growth, with the recruitment, property and automotive sectors noting a rise in online marketing.

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