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Jul 16, 2012

What’s Your Digital Personality?

By Tami Deedrick

I have a new addiction. I love to watch TV and follow Twitter at the same time. Watching TV has become a community event for me. I’m amazed at what others pick up that I didn’t see and I love to laugh at their snarky comments and jokes.

If you’re 55 or older, you may be tempted to dismiss me as some young whippersnapper who just wants to do the latest, coolest trend. You’d be mistaken. Consider these stats:



Many, many others are just like me. In fact, YOU may be just like me. And the new behaviors of connected consumers—which include social viewing, distracted viewing and viewing on demand—are impacting media and entertainment (M&E) providers. Viewers talk about ads turning shows, providing instant feedback for advertisers. If we’re watching on demand, we want as few ads as possible so how do M&E providers deal with that?

IBM has looked into this too and has published its 4th Annual Digital Consumer Survey. The survey includes more than 3,800 consumers in six countries: China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the U.S.

In today’s connected consumer landscape, how can M&E providers offer consumers entertainment experiences that are more relevant, and therefore perceived as more valuable? In short, IBM says, they must move beyond merely distributing digital content.

Today, M&E providers first need to think and act like B2C companies, no matter where they sit in the industry value chain. Second, they should target consumers’ specific digital personalities. Third, they must learn to deliver holistic, relevant content experiences—not just content alone. And finally, they must create new flexibly integrated, cross-channel digital revenue models that can deliver value comparable to traditional models.

So who are these digital personalities? The survey revealed four prominent types that are not age-based, but instead are based on the combination of degree of access to content and intensity of content interaction. They are:

  • “Efficiency Experts” are the largest group (41 percent) and see the adoption of digital devices and services as a way 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” are 35 percent of the global sample. They combine the behaviors common to Content Kings and Social Butterflies with even more sophisticated behaviors. They 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.

I find myself touching all four personalities. I use Facebook and Skype regularly, watch TV online, and use my smartphone and tablet to stay up-to-date 24-7. As much as I use digital content to stay efficient, it’s not just about that for me. It’s also social.

So where do you fall in the four digital personalities? Can you peg yourself?






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