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IBM has identified four new types of digital consumers that media providers should target to improve digital revenue streams.

The ‘Beyond Digital’ report states that the new behaviours of connected customers - which include social viewing, distracted viewing and digesting on-demand content – have greatly impacted media providers.

It suggests that content cannibalisation is reducing demand for certain types of content and “digital revenue streams have proven weaker than traditional revenue streams as consumer expectations move from content ownership models to content accessibility models.”

As a result, media providers need to target specific ‘digital personalities’, delivering relevant content experiences rather than just content alone - and create new cross-channel digital revenue models.

The four digital personalities identified in the report are not age-based, but instead are derived from how they access content:

  • Efficiency Experts. This largest group (41%) sees the adoption of digital devices and services as a way to make life easier.
  • Content Kings. This digital personality (9%) includes dedicated gamers, newshounds, movie buffs, music lovers and TV fans. 
  • Social Butterflies. These consumers (15%) cannot imagine not being able to instantly access any of their friends.  
  • Connected Maestros. This personality (35%) combines the behaviours common to Content Kings and Social Butterflies with even more sophisticated behaviours.
IBM says that digital channels offer an opportunity to develop experiences that are tailored to the viewer’s particular context – such as geographical and social – as well as their own content preferences.

The findings are similar to a study by TNS RI which suggested that marketers should tailor their ad campaigns based on the way different segments of the population consume information.

The theory is that consumers are suffering from ‘Information Obesity’ due to the number of different communication channels that now exist, and as a result brands are struggling to communicate with their audience.

To help cut through the noise, TNS identified groups called Fast Foodies, Supplementers, Carnivores, Fussy Eaters and Balanced Eaters, with each group differing in the type of information they consumer and in the way they consume it.

As consumers move away from traditional media to a multi-channel digital model it is important to identify new ways of segmenting audiences instead of simply breaking them into groups based on age and gender.

However the segmentation is only part of the challenge, as marketers must still work out how to effectively target each group with relevant campaigns.

David Moth

Published 17 April, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

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

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