IBM Survey Reveals Digital Behavioral Trends for Consumers: What is your Digital Personality?

*Media & Entertainment Providers Must Practice New Rules for Engagement, Digitizing Content is Not Enough*

ARMONK, N.Y. – 16 Apr 2012: A new IBM study of the media and entertainment market, reveals that as consumers adopt an increasing number of digital devices, four distinct new “digital personalities” are emerging. This shift is compelling companies to adopt more innovative business models that deliver personalized experiences.

The Connected Consumer Infographic. Image credit. IBM

The “Beyond Digital study released at the 2012 NAB Conference, paints a portrait of a rapidly changing audience that is adopting a wide range of digital devices at a dizzying pace. And, contrary to popular belief, most are not college students. For example, sixty-five percent of respondents aged 55 to 64 report surfing the Web and texting with friends while watching TV. Of those over age 65 watching TV, 49 percent surf the Web and 30 percent are texting. Eighty-two percent of surveyed global consumers aged 18 to 64 are embracing connected digital devices.

Moreover, consumers in China and the U.S. are moving away from traditional forms of media, with more than 50 percent using online sources for breaking news.

The New Personalities
Today’s connected consumers demand instant access to personalized content on their own terms. With the growth of digital devices, one-way communication and distribution of content is no longer feasible. According to the IBM study, most users fall into one of four emerging personality categories:

  • Efficiency Experts: With 41 percent in this category, these respondents use digital devices and services to simplify day-to-day activities. Efficiency experts send emails rather than letters, use Facebook to communicate with others, access the Internet via mobile phones, and shop online.
  • Content Kings: Are generally male consumers, who frequently play online games, download movies and music, and watch TV online. This audience represents 9 percent of the global sample.
  • Social Butterflies: Place emphasis on social interaction – they require instant access to friends, regardless of time or place. Fifteen percent of consumers surveyed reported they frequently maintain and update social networking sites, add labels or tags to online photos, and view videos from other users.
  • Connected Maestros: 35 percent of those surveyed take a more advanced approach to media consumption by using mobile devices and Smartphone applications to access games, music, and video or to check news, weather, sports, etc.

“Media companies need to engage with consumers based on their digital personalities, if they are going to maintain a sustainable and connected relationship, said Saul Berman, Global Strategy Consulting Leader, IBM Global Business Services, and co-author of the study. “With the mass infiltration of digital devices, organizations can now enhance, extend or redefine the customer experience within minutes due to a steady stream of real-time data via social media. Future success is dependent upon successfully executing on insights based on this data, to reach the right consumer, at the right time and place, using the right tools.”

According to the IBM study, media and entertainment companies’ payment infrastructures need to be flexible and scalable to allow a variety of innovative pricing approaches to attract consumers with different preferences to their content. The need for payment option flexibility, even for the same set of consumers, is apparent by looking at those most active in adopting new devices. This group’s preferred mode of payment to watch a movie on a website is by viewing advertising that is included with the movie (39 percent of this segment chose this option), while they prefer to see movies on a tablet by purchasing a subscription (chosen by 36 percent). But to watch movies on a smart phone, they prefer to pay per use (the payment choice of 36 percent).

IBM surveyed 3,800 consumers in six countries – China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States for this study, and also met with global representatives in broadcasting, publishing, as well as media service agencies, and telecommunication providers, to evaluate digital consumption behaviors.

How Analytics Can Help
Using analytics, media companies can now take advantage of existing consumer data to understand audience sentiment, online personalities and behavior. This new intelligence can be used to develop targeted advertising campaigns and personalized offers, as well as to boost customer service.

The 2010 IBM Global Chief Executive Officer Study reiterated that CEOs understand that in order to stand out in a competitive market, that they must effectively and consistently connect with the consumer. Some are making strides and tapping into the new opportunities that are becoming available with this digital transformation. By taking into account digital personalities and behaviors, media and entertainment organizations can add a layer of intelligence to customer interactions and develop innovative business models that can help respond and keep ahead of an increasingly complex marketplace.

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About the Study
This area of study is IBM’s forth-annual digital consumer survey by the Institute of Business Value, following on from the 2010 “Beyond content: Capitalizing on the new revenue opportunities,” the 2009 “Beyond advertising: Choosing a strategic path to the digital consumer,” and “The end of advertising as we know it” surveys. These reports have all focused on the journey from the physical to the digital distribution of information, and the impact this transformation has on consumers and the media & entertainment industry.

*Source: IBM

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