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Technology Consumer Demographics – solid market research from MetaFacts Technology User Profile

Extensive information about technology consumer demographics is available in TUP – Technology User Profile.

It’s not enough to know that someone may buy your product or service – it’s vital to know who and how many. True technology marketers and researchers know well how important it is to understand their current and future customers.

Often, the fabled early adopters have had a different demographic makeup than expected, causing serious mistakes and disconnects. The changes are far from over.

Below are a few examples of questions addressed in TUP related to technology consumer demographics. The full TUP service enables drilling down beyond the answers to these questions to identify which other technologies, services and behaviors are disruptive and to profile which market segments are and aren’t adopting. TUP is much more than a one-dimensional market view or opinion piece.

  • Age-related market adoption – which products and services are age-skewed? Which are skewed toward older rather than younger users?
  • Multitasking – who’s using many devices for many activities, versus few devices for many activities? How do user segments vary by quadrant?
  • How many seniors are online? How is their behavior different than younger online users?
  • Which smartphone OS is leading, and with which market segments?
  • Do PC users behave differently as they gain more experience? Are Newbies or Vets mostly focusing on certain activities versus a broad mixture?
  • Tech adoption cycles may not be as fast as the tech-focused think. How many and which users still use older tech products?
  • Is social networking only for certain age groups?
  • How do the market segments of mobile phone platforms vary? How does compare to Tablets and other key devices?
  • How does PC and online usage vary across segments such as workplace company size or industry?
  • What about the anti-social – those that aren’t in an online social network? Who are they? In what other ways are they actively communicating and having fun? How does their spending profile compare?
  • Entertainment primacy – what is the center of the user’s home entertainment world? Is it one device or many? Which devices and services, and among which segments?
  • Do Apple users “grow up and give up” their Apple? When do they get one again, if they do?
  • What is the impact on privacy concerns on use of social networking?
  • How much of the game-playing population is older versus younger?
  • What do most people do with their mobile phone as compared to their PC? Which user segments align with which platforms?
  • Who is printing coupons?
  • Who’s busiest – desktop users or notebook users? How do their profiles differ?
  • How central is game-playing to the general population? How about within certain key market segments?
  • Who is buying the highest-end PCs? Are there brand differences? What else do users buy and what else do they use?
  • Most-mobile customers – where do they go and what do they do?
  • Who spends the most hours online?
  • Which segments are the most music-intensive? What is the overlap of music-centered products and services by segment?
  • How tech-experienced are game-players?
  • How much have PC users integrated PCs into their personal lives?
  • How has the division of work vs. personal use of technology products continued to blur?
  • Are PC users primarily accessing the Internet at home, in the workplace, using friends or neighbor’s computers, or in public places such as libraries or cybercafés? Which users use other’s PCs and which have many to choose from?
  • What types and combinations of consumer electronics are homes using?
  • How many and which segments are watching and renting movies on which platforms?
  • How do market segments vary in demand opportunities for tech products and services?
  • To what extent do tech shoppers focus on certain channels for certain products versus staying with a smaller number of outlets?
  • Which market segments are dating online?
  • What else do they frequently do online? Have game-players been the first to adopt new products such as the Apple iPhone? Or, are they generally later adopters?
  • Which social networking sites are used most frequently by which segments?
  • How tech-sophisticated are game-players, within key gaming segments?
  • To what extent does game-playing drive online usage specifically and tech usage overall?
  • Special printer paper? Who uses it and what for? Is it only photos, or something else?
  • Which market segments are blogging? How do they compare to social networkers?
  • How are users communicating, given all their communication options?
  • How do consumer attitudes about purchasing technology differ between Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell customers?
  • Do mobile PC users print differently than desktop users? Do the more-mobile use more or fewer printers? Do the more-mobile print different content?
  • Which PC brands dominate the PC market? How does this vary within market segment?
  • Are Apple’s best customers really unique?
  • What about the unemployed? Are they more or are they less tech-focused?
  • What do users sync or “store” in the cloud? How do users share images – social networking sites or photo-specific sites? Which users are the most active?
  • How is HP’s PC penetration within the overall HP footprint?
  • How PC/Online & Mobile Phone activities compare? How is this different for Tablets or eBook Readers? Which segments use which device for the most activities?
  • Beyond paper or plastic: which types of ink & toner are printer users buying? New or refilled? Original or competitor?
  • Which industry groups have varied levels of tech product adoption?
  • Which tech buyers focus more on retail than shopping online and vice versa?
  • What is the status of mobile phone transition, from basic feature phones to smartphones and non-users?
  • How rich is the user’s printing experience? Do they use only one printer or more than one? For multi-printer users, which ones do they use? Who are the most-active printer users?
  • Tracfone for oldsters? Who has the oldest segment by carrier?
  • How are Facebook users different from users of other Social Networks? Beside demographics, what else distinguishes these from each other?
  • Do game players bring their gaming with them into the workplace? To what extent? Which market segment does this the most?
  • Which combination of tech devices is the most popular today? How large is each segment? Who are in each segment? Which direction are they headed with their buying plans?
  • How does the life and lifespan of a PC vary by form factor? Does it vary by brand? By user segment?
  • Which social networks show the most growth-oriented activity? Which segments show signs of losing interest or withdrawing?
  • Are Apple’s retail shoppers already the Apple-faithful or is Apple drawing in the unconverted? Who are these shoppers?
  • Who are the biggest tech spenders? Which segments spend the most and least for devices? How does spending for tech services differ?
  • iPhone users – who are they really? How do they compare with Android users?
  • Which segments are keeping their files, calendars, or other information synchronized or backed up online?
  • Primacy – what is the center of the user’s world? Their home PC, work PC, mobile phone? Is it one device or many?

If solid answers to any of these questions would help your work in creating the future, please contact MetaFacts.

MetaFacts, Inc. helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. This is all done using standard market research survey methodologies that do not use or share any personally identifiable information. All results are gathered with the clear and simple permission of survey respondents.

Current subscribers of Technology User Profile may obtain this information directly from MetaFacts, as well as additional customized drilling down into the full datasets.

For more information on the results delivered in TUP and about how to subscribe, please contact MetaFacts.

The above questions are answered with the TUP 2012 edition, and most are also answered in many other TUP editions for ready trend comparison.

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Statistics, Tech Market, Trends, TUP 2012, TUP 2013, TUP 2014, TUP 2015, TUP 2016, TUP 2017

TUPdates: The Fastest Online Get Busier While The Rest Get Left Behind

Broad public awareness about the Digital Divide was only a warm-up drill – a substantial group of Americans are now being left even further behind. While the growing economic and educational divide get lots of coverage, less attention has been given to the implications of the growing rift between the fast-connected and slow-connected. Furthermore, broadband adoption has stalled among the heaviest online users.

Why is this important?

Product planners, technologists, consumer marketers, governments, and even pollsters that imagine that all Internet users are high-speed and equal are missing the mark. The very people they are trying to reach with rich, streaming music or video content are a subset of the market and while growing in numbers, have dropped as a percent of those online. While broadband-attached users are increasing their time online, the ranks of dial-up users have swelled and are spending less time online. Internet users without fast, persistent connections might even pull the plug out of frustration.

According to the current edition of Technology User Profile, the longest-running large-scale technology survey conducted in the U.S., this year marks the first time in recent history that more than two-thirds (66.9%) of home Internet users with broadband connections spent 11 or more hours online per week. This is up from 62.9% in 2003. Also, heavy users have increased their hours online, rising from 34.8% of home PCs in 2003 to 38.5% in 2004. The study surveyed 10,418 computer users and asked them how many hours they spent actively on the Internet during a typical week at home.

This may appear to be rosy news for broadband providers, validating that users like what they see and therefore increase their usage. However, not all of the news is positive.

Light users, those with less than 11 hours online per week, have precipitously declining broadband adoption rates, dropping from 30.2% in 2003 to less than a quarter (24.2%) in 2004. At this point, this is due more to the entrance of new users that typically don’t spend as much time online and that don’t start with broadband connections, than being due to broadband users pulling the plug.

By comparison, moderate users (11 or more hours per week) and heavy users (21 or more hours per week) had flat broadband adoption rates. Moderate users remained flat with 46.9% having broadband in 2003 and 46.4% in 2004. Broadband adoption by heavy users was also flat, with 51.5% in 2003 and 51.6% in 2004. So, it is not as if the heaviest dial-up users are making the move to broadband.

Other factors at play are multiple-PC households, wireless networks, and the growing adoption of computer and online use by ever-younger users.

This mixed news may come as a shock to those that believe that everyone is high-bandwidth like them. It means that further shocks may crop up when those expecting nothing but growth find that they face declining numbers. Identifying those segments that are at risk of reducing their use and catering to their unique needs may help avoid such declines.

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TUPdates: Rich PC, Poor PC–They Lead (Somewhat) Different Lives

The rich are different from you and me-they order a lot more photo prints online. The upper crust (well, those who make above $50,000 yearly) are also far more likely to purchase consumer services, perform video editing, work with numbers, and use financial services. But the other half (i.e., those who make less than $50,000) are more likely to use their PCs for VoIP, and to watch DVDs.

Why is this important?

It misses the mark to assume that only the highest-income households are early adopters, simply because they have more disposable income. Saving money is a key driving factor for some products among those with less to spend. At the same time, assuming that money-saving benefits will cross the income divide to attract those with higher-incomes also misses the mark.

These are other insights came to light when 10,418 households-broken down by income-responded to the Technology User Profile survey from MetaFacts, Inc., about what activities they regularly use their PCs for. The result: rich or poor, nearly everyone (averaging 89 percent) uses their PC for e-mail, and hardly anyone (averaging only 3.3 percent) uses their PC to watch TV. But between those two extremes, there are some important differences and interesting wrinkles.In terms of how the high-end PC users differ from the low end, the big differentiator is the practice of obtaining prints from online photo services—15.5 percent of the upper crust do it, compared to 8.6 percent of the low end. Evidently the rich are not only more likely to own and use digital cameras, but they want glossy hardcopies to show around.Meanwhile, using the PC to purchase consumer services online is more popular with people with more money, but involves a divide that is not quite as steep: 28.1 percent of the upper crust does it, as opposed to 16.5 percent of the lower crust. The same holds true for using the PC to work with numbers, with 32.1 percent of the high-end doing it as opposed to 19.5 percent of the low end. Apparently the rich have more numbers to crunch-but the poor have some, too. The situation was similar when it came to accessing financial services, with 37.6 percent of the high end doing it compared to 25.5 percent of the low end.As for video editing, the rich/poor divide was stark-but hard to get excited about because the total numbers are so small. Only 5.4 percent of the high-end use their PCs for video editing, compared to 3.3 percent of the low end. Those who said that people were not going to spend their days at the office working at a PC in order to rush home to spend the evening at a PC editing family videos were correct.There are, meanwhile, areas where low end users outshine high-end users. When it comes to using the PC to make phone calls via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), those with less money employ this money-saving technology 9 percent of the time, compared to 6.6 percent of high-end users. And when it comes to using their PCs to watch movies on DVD (and thus avoid buying a separate DVD player) 12.7 percent of the low-end users report doing it, compared to 11.2 percent of the high-end users. While these are not huge figures, they do indicate that early adopters can be found at all economic strata. And, since the percentages cover the national user base, the figures should not be dismissed-if nine percent of low-end households are making use of VoIP, that’s almost five million households that have found a way to use their available technology to side-step the phone company and save some money.

In case you were wondering, there are instances where the high-end and low-end uses exactly coincide. When it comes to hobbies, about 35 percent of both strata use their PC. When it comes to calendar management, 17.5 percent use it on both sides of the divide. Differences are statistically insignificant when it comes to educational activities for adults (averaging 20.1 percent) and for children (averaging 20.8 percent) and for downloading music (averaging 30.2 percent.) If it’s true that there are things that money can’t buy, it also appears to be true that there are activities that money has little impact on.



















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