Changes in the way consumers use the internet will bring new challenges for marketers and advertisers, experts have predicted.

Following a round table meeting on the hype surrounding Web 2.0, representatives from business solutions provider Conchango, online retailer Play.com, publishing group Pearson and marketing specialist Ogilvy Interactive warned that the industry needed to adapt.

According to Graeme Benson, IT director at Play.com, the web has now entered the mainstream.

“It is not a peripheral activity,” he added. “It is not something people find time to do occasionally. It has become an integral part of their lives, and because of that, the place in the mainstream is bringing a whole new set of challenges that I do not think we faced before.”

The group went on to urge large businesses to embrace the internet as a means of communicating with their customers. Paul Dawson, head of interactive media for Conchango, said that while consumers had full confidence in the internet, corporates were still wary.

“Whilst the general public are indicating to pull into the fast lane, owners of corporate websites are still on the hard shoulder,” he said, adding that businesses needed to be prepared to innovate and take risks.

“The ability to experiment with what gets traction with customers is key,” Mr Dawson noted.

Web 2.0 is a phrase used to refer to new developments in online applications and the way in which businesses and individuals use the internet.

Having emerged from the dot.com bubble, there is a widely held belief that the internet is now entering the second stage of its evolution with new services such as search advertising and a rise in user-generated content.ADNFCR-8000151-ID-17484412-ADNFCR

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