Magazine article Marketing

Tech Nation: Looking at Consumers through a New Lens

Magazine article Marketing

Tech Nation: Looking at Consumers through a New Lens

Article excerpt

Forget the geek cliches, it's time to embrace technology as a new definer of consumer groups, writes Liz McMahon.

The ways in which brands can target and communicate with consumers have evolved massively in the past 20 years, not least with the advent of digital media and the rapid penetration of technology into our everyday lives. The ways in which we communicate with each other and keep ourselves informed and entertained has diverged across platforms and devices, making content much more accessible and controllable for the consumer.

Yet how we define and understand the audiences for brands has not necessarily changed to keep pace. The traditional demographics we use to segment and understand consumers can feel outdated when used in isolation. Just look at the huge interest generated by the BBC's take on social classes, released earlier this year. We need to find new ways of looking at people, and classifying the nation, that are helpful to clients and agencies and can be used across different sectors and brands.

Tech Nation is a new study that does just that.

A research programme devised by Newsworks in partnership with Kantar Media, it presents a more modern way of looking at people - through their ownership of, attitudes to and use of technology. The study, which involves analysis of 24,000 TGI Clickstream panellists, combined with ethnographic and omnibus research, investigates consumers' attitudes to technology, the devices they own, purchase journeys and media consumption.

There has long been a view that technology is the preserve of the young Typically, we associate those who are most engaged and best-equipped as young, perhaps slightly geeky, men. Tech Nation dispels this myth. Today everyone needs technology as part of their social interaction, shopping and entertainment. It is no longer a luxury or niche interest.

What's also interesting is the way in which more recent developments such as the tablet have been taken up by a broader and older audience than we've seen with other technologies in the past. At the same time, developments in TV have particularly caught the imagination of family age groups. Our study demonstrates that engagement with technology reaches far outside the 'digital-native' generation.

The study has wide application across brands and the way in which we reach different audiences. The relationship between media and technology is a close one; Tech Nation adds a new dimension to planning across all sectors.

There are five groups defined by their use of and attitude to technology:

Tech Rich - have a passion for technology and a lust for the latest device. …

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