The State Of Consumers And Technology 2006

In 2006, Forrester surveyed 66,000 American households and came up with information on what the American Technological Adoption is doing and where it’s headed.  I am not very sure of how this survey could be used with an Indian context but readers are free to try.  This survey is available here

Here is what they learned.

1. Many devices span the generations.  Take Digital cameras, this adoption does have a good spread with the different age groups involved (the oldies are quite fast to catch up then)

2.  Connectivity is as big as ever.  Broad band continues to grow at a good rate and this will surely allow hi-speed ways of delivering services/products/advice easier.

3.  The digital decade shows no sign of slowing down. DVRs, camera phones, and home networks caught on in 2005 faster than any other technology

4. Age Does Matter For Technology And Media Habits. The adoption is the highest among Gen-X households abed they lead the way in integrating these habits.

5. Gen Yers take technology everywhere.  Young adults are the most likely to put a premium on mobility, owning mobile phones, laptops, and MP3 players more often than their older counterparts. But the balance of consumers are following in their footsteps: 34% of Older Boomers and 22% of Seniors have cut the long-distance cord.

6. Seniors’ media intake revolves around TV. Seniors consume one-third more hours of TV per week than Gen Yers do; Gen Yers devote more than three times as many hours to the Net per week as Seniors.

So with all this data in mind, how will these findings matter to any industry which uses media as an important part of their strategy to capture newer markets?

  • Marketing. Viral or word-of-mouth marketing is appealing across generations, but the Net is the place to reach Gen Yers and Gen Xers for product research. While almost 90% of Seniors do their decision-making research offline, nearly 40% of Gen Xers do research online and purchase offline.
  • Retail. Gen Xers are the sweet spot for online shopping. With their disposable income and near-ubiquitous connectivity, more Gen Xers shop online than any other generation: 16.2 million online households.
  • Financial services. Online banking programs garner participation from younger adults, two-thirds of whom have checked balances online in the past three months. Web access to investment campaigns appeal to Boomers, who are more likely to make use of the online investment management tools.
  • Travel. More than half (55%) of online travelers book their travel online. Young adults research and book their travel with Web agencies like Expedia or Orbitz more often than older travelers: 51% of Seniors booked with the airline they flew compared with only 33% of Gen Yers.

Well, those new companies promising the new thing in media on mobile channels and who plan to use the electronic medium in more innovative ways sure seem to have a good lookout this survey suggests.

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