Identifying customer personas can help businesses to segment their audience and increase conversions with targeted promotions and personalised web experiences.

To this end, new research by Experian has identified four distinct types of connected consumers that it identified as ‘always on.’

This includes consumers who constantly connect with friends and family, and consume various types of digital content from internet-enabled devices.

The results came from a national survey of more than 6,000 US consumers that explores the platform and device preferences, media consumption habits and the online and offline behaviours of ‘always on’ connected consumers.

The groups are labelled as:

  • Social butterflies.
  • Working professionals.
  • Gamers.
  • Everything tech.

And here’s what those names actually mean in practice...

The social butterfly

This group consists of young, females aged 18-34 who spend most of their time socialising with friends or enjoying leisure activities. They use technology for social networking, sharing and social shopping.

Social butterflies have the highest levels of overall connectivity of these four personas, and are 70% more likely to use a tablet, 48% more likely to use e-readers and 60% more likely to use an MP3 player than the average consumer.

However use of social is the most important trait of this group, and they are three times more likely to access social networks across every connected device.

Similarly, social butterflies are 3.5 times more likely to purchase something seen on a social network and four times more likely to purchase something recommended by peers in this environment.

The working professional

This group includes career-focused individuals, who are usually male aged between 35 and 44. They access content on-the-go primarily for work purposes and use technology to stay in touch and informed.

As one might expect, working professionals are 84% more likely than average to use a work computer. This is the highest figure across any of the ‘always on’ consumer types.

And like social butterflies they are highly likely to consume news on their mobiles, being four times more likely to read the news and three times more likely to send emails from their mobile than average.

However, they are not the biggest users of social networks, nor are they as open to social media or advertising on their mobiles. 

Working professionals are 80% less likely to want to receive adverts on their phone, almost 40% less likely to follow favourite brands or companies on social networks and almost 50% less likely to purchase products they see advertised on such sites.


Gamers tend to be young single males aged 18 to 24, with a love of gaming via almost any connected device.

Although they are 90% more likely to purchase a product advertised on their mobile than average, generally gamers are less interested in receiving advertising content to their mobile devices. Only 9.7% of this group would opt into receiving ads on their mobile phones, although that rises to 21% if they are offered an incentive.

However, this group is also the least likely of all four consumer types to see advertising as annoying. Peer recommendation and celebrity endorsement is more important to gamers – this group is 60% more likely to buy a product because a celebrity uses it.

Everything Tech

Members of this group tend to be aged 18 to 34 and like to be the first to try new things.

Accessing content on the go is extremely important and this tends to be done using a tablet. In fact this group is 63% more likely to have used a tablet recently compared to the average consumer.

This group is also ten times more likely to be interested in receiving mobile ads, with 64% willing to accept adverts on their device if they were to receive something of value in exchange.

And much like gamers, peer recommendation is very important for this group. They are nearly six times more likely to trust the product information they get from social networks over other sources.

David Moth

Published 8 August, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (4)


Sarah Mitchell

I wonder where the stay-at-home parents fit into this? They seem to be online all the time, sometimes around the clock.

almost 5 years ago


Richard Banks, Digital Vision Programme Manager at Oxfam

What Sarah said. My other half is on maternity leave looking after our 15 month old. I'm always amazed at how many Facebook groups she's part of, and how she uses Pinterest.

Never underestimate the mums network.

almost 5 years ago


Kathryn Green, Marketing Manager at Poq Studio

We actually wrote a blog post about 'Mums on mobile' making the same point as the commentators above. There's a lot of research out there showing that busy mothers are very high users of smartphones and tablets. I'd definitely add them as another digital consumer group.

almost 5 years ago


Emily O'Byrne

How depressing. Women categorised as 'butterflies' who just go shopping - "who spend most of their time socialising with friends or enjoying leisure activities." Presumably supported by manly 'working professionals'.

When I dug into the original Experian site, and peeked behind the ghastly cartoon personas, I discovered it wasn't quite so bad as that: butterflies are mostly 'university graduates in well-paid jobs' who limit their frantic socialising to their 'spare' time.

However, I'm still not sure why the researchers decided to label men who work as 'professionals' and women who work as 'butterflies'. Tends to make me question the quality of the underlying research.

almost 5 years ago

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