IBM unveiled its study Beyond Digital, analyzing the digital behavior of 3,800 respondents in six countries, at the National Association of Broadcasters show.
The study talks about how the digital industry must evolve by engaging with what the author of the report, Saul Berman, calls the connected consumer, by providing custom experiences for them. Of the respondents, 78% identified themselves as digital device adopters; of these, more than half report reading newspapers online.
For brands, the first step becomes understanding consumers, which means identifying them as either Early Adopters, 12%; Mainstream Consumers, 35%; Late Adopters, 32%; or Stragglers, 21%.
More than half of those indentified as mainstream consumers have adopted a range of digital consumption behaviors, from checking news and watching video online, to accessing mobile services, participating in social networking and visiting user-generated content sites, according to the report.
IBM also identified four digital personalities that have more to do with their degrees of access to technology and content, and less to do with age. For example, the Efficiency Experts make up 41% of tech users, the largest share of connected consumers."These respondents use digital devices and services to simplify day-to-day activities," according to the study. "Efficiency experts send emails rather than letters, use Facebook to communicate with others, access the Internet via mobile phones, and shop online."
Content Kings comprise 9% of respondents. The study finds these consumers are dedicated gamers, newshounds, movie buffs, music lovers and TV fans. The 15% that make up the category of Social Butterflies have consistent access to networks, but engage with friends and family, rather than media-supplied content. Lastly, the group known as super-users or Connected Maestros combine Content Kings and Social Butterflies to make up 35% of users.
Providing tailored customer experiences will require brands to build insightful profiles and continually update them as consumers evolve their digital content consumption behaviors. Berman suggests profiling consumers not only based on their age, but also the willingness to access content.