IBM study reveals digital personality types

17 Apr 2012

Four distinct new “digital personalities” are emerging as consumers adopt an increasing number of digital devices, an IBM study of consumers, and the media and entertainment markets suggests.

This shift, says IBM, is compelling companies to adopt more innovative business models that deliver personalised experiences as consumers are demanding instant access to personalised content on their own terms.

The study, titled Beyond Digital, surveyed 3,800 consumers in China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US. The results reveal a rapidly changing audience that is adopting a range of digital devices just as rapidly. Most users of those digital devices, the study shows, fall into one of four emerging personality categories:

· Efficiency Experts: The 41pc of survey respondents who fall into this category 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: This category consists of generally male consumers, who frequently play online games, download movies and music, and watch TV online. This audience represents 9pc of the global sample.

· Social Butterflies: Fifteen per cent of consumers surveyed place emphasis on social interaction – they require instant access to friends, any time and anywhere. The respondents in this category also frequently maintain and update social networking sites, add labels or tags to online photos, and view videos from other users.

· Connected Maestros: Thirty-five per cent of those surveyed take a more advanced approach to media consumption by using mobile devices and smartphone apps to access games, music, and videos, or to check news, weather, sports, and other information.

For the study, IBM also met with global representatives in broadcasting and publishing, as well as media service agencies, and telecommunication providers, to evaluate digital consumption behaviours.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic