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IBM survey identifies four ‘digital personalities’ for consumers


By John Glenday | Reporter

April 16, 2012 | 2 min read

A Digital Consumer Survey conducted by IBM has found a “dramatic” increase in the adoption of digital devices and content over the past four years.

Of 3,800 consumers quizzed some 78% identified themselves as digital device adopters over the past year with 50% vowing to ditch traditional media in favour of online alternatives.

Whilst this is largely in line with industry expectations the survey also indicates that age is becoming a less clear cut delineator of digital adoption with 65% of those aged 55-64 indulging in web browsing and texting whilst watching TV.

Instead IBM break consumers down into four personality defined categories; Efficiency Experts, Content Kings, Social Butterflies and Content Maestros.

Of these Efficiency Experts are the most numerous with 41% identifiable in this category. They correspond to people who use digital devices and services purely to simplify day-to-day activities.

Content Kings meanwhile constitute 9% of the global sample and comprise people (predominantly males) who consume online games and download entertainment.

15% of respondents are identifies in the Social Butterflies category, defined as those who emphasise direct access to friends, irrespective of time or place.

Content Maestros comprise the remaining 35% of those polled and are identified by their reliance on mobile devices and smartphone applications to access content.

Saul Berman, Global Strategy Consulting Leader, IBM Global Business Services, and co-author of the study said: “Media companies need to engage with consumers based on their digital personalities, if they are going to maintain a sustainable and connected relationship.

“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.”


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