From the January 2007 issue of Entrepreneur

There's no question about it: Internet users are talking and shopping. But the tools they're using, and plan to use, might surprise you.

According to a study released by Universal McCann and InsightExpress in August 2006, the most popular technology was instant messaging (68 percent), followed by price-comparison sites (40 percent) and social networking sites (28 percent).

But don't dash off to these technologies to broadcast your business yet--especially if it'll take you a year or two to get there. The same study participants, who are in the 16 to 49-year-old range, revealed a different set of top three technologies they plan to use in the future: IPTV (22 percent), podcasting (18 percent) and VoIP (18 percent). And blogging still reigns supreme: A whopping 62 percent of participants are active in the blogosphere.

This study suggests that heavy internet users aren't sitting back, waiting to receive information. They're chatting with colleagues. They're creating content and conversations. Connecting with them requires creativity. A mass-market ad campaign won't work; it's not targeted and will likely be seen as intrusive. You need to customize your content and join the conversation to effectively communicate with your future customers through today's emerging technologies.

With nearly 90 percent of heavy internet users shopping and researching future purchases online, according to Universal McCann's report, it's time your internet marketing went high-tech to reach a growing universe of high-tech users.