Commentary

We Have Met

  • by March 23, 2001
We Have Met "E" And It’s Us!

An American Demographic story recently reports that, when Forrester Research classified North Americans three years ago by their affinity for technology, the vast majority of Internet users fell into just one of 10 consumer segments, rendering the analysis worthless. "All the Internet fans came from the same group of high-income, career-minded consumers," says James McQuivey, Forrester's research director in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Today, Internet users are found in all of Forrester's "technographic" types.

Acording to ZDNet: - Their average age is 39 years, and rising. - 38 % hold a college degree, and falling - The fastest-growing segment of Web newbies is Americans over 55 years old with working-class incomes and middlebrow tastes.

Harris Interactive reports that the online community has grown by more than 900 % over the past six years. While technology news used to be the most popular subject for Americans who wanted online information, now it's the weather.

Nielsen//NetRatings classified its 65,000 Web panelists into a geodemographic cluster system developed by Claritas that segments consumers into lifestyle niches. - The clusters with the greatest access to the Internet are early-adopting, upscale Americans. - The cluster whose surfers spend the most time online at home is a Mid-City Mix: a working-class, African American lifestyle whose residents like to chat, exchange e-mail, and hang out at entertainment and sweepstakes sites.

"Lower-income Americans look to the Internet as a replacement for television," says Chris Berry, Claritas' vice president for Internet initiatives in San Diego. "If it's not to play games, it's to enter sweepstakes or to get entertained." Berry goes on to say, "Well-off Americans look to the Internet as a convenience. To them, it's just one more tool to help them get information or purchase things."

Media Metrix reports: - Women in their 20s and 30s patronize sites offering relationship and parenting information relevant to that life stage. - In their 40s, they shift to hobby and leisure sites featuring gardening and cooking content. - In their 50s they turn to Web sites offering advice on financial investments and health care. - Men are more likely to go online to buy stocks, get news, compare products, buy products, bid at auctions, and visit government Web sites.

Read the complete article by American Demographics at: http://www.demographics.com:80/publications/ad/01_ad/0103_ad/ad010301.ht

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