Business Wire

Joint Research and Whitepaper from Ball State University and ExactTarget Highlights Media Usage Behaviors and Sensitivities of Six Consumer Personas

INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ExactTarget, a leading provider of on-demand e-mail and one-to-one marketing solutions, is revealing the results of a collaborative research project with Ball State Universitys Center for Media Design in a new whitepaper, Messaging Behaviors, Preferences and Personas. The study provides new insight into the media consumption habits and marketing preferences of six commonly targeted groups. The whitepaper provides detailed personas highlighting insights from the study which combines observational data on peoples media use and exposure from the Center for Media Design with ExactTargets data on consumers attitudes toward marketing messages received through distinct channels.

One of the key findings in this research is that 18- to 34-year-olds claim they are more likely to be influenced to make purchases based on e-mail marketing messages and direct mail than from marketing messages on social networks, said Mike Bloxham, director, insight and research, Ball State Universitys Center for Media Design. It is too easy to assume that the media consumers choose for their own news, information and entertainment are, by default, the best media to use for marketing messages. This is a dangerous assumption to make in a time when consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their level of control over their media experiences.”

Available today, the whitepaper not only shares the results from this research on consumer behaviors and preferences, but it provides marketers with insights to consider when structuring a campaign targeting the six different personas identified in the research.

Interesting findings about the six different personas include:

  • 20 percent of Wired consumers have subscribed for marketing communications via SMS, more so than any other group, but they want to receive texts only for urgent customer service issues such as financial alerts or travel updates.
  • More than 50 percent of Young Homemakers use social networks and SMS during the day, but direct mail and e-mail are their two preferred marketing channels.
  • 81 percent of Retired consumers have purchased online and 94 percent have been influenced by some form of direct marketing to make a purchase.
  • College Students are very spam-savvy and believe private communication channels such as SMS and social networks are off limits for marketers.
  • Teens use social networking more than any other group but are more likely to make a purchase from direct mail, followed by e-mail, SMS and social network sites.
  • Women are more likely than the men in the Established Professionals group to use new digital media channels such as IM, SMS and social networking to communicate with friends and family, but men and women alike shop online with 92 percent of the consumers in this group having made an online purchase.

Our goal with this whitepaper is to help marketers develop subscriber profiles and create effective one-to-one communications targeted to each individual subscriber, said Morgan Stewart, ExactTargets director of research and strategy. The research findings fall right in line with our Subscribers Rule! philosophy, where we challenge marketers to put customers needs and wants before their own and let subscribers’ preferences and interests rule the one-to-one marketing relationship.

To download a copy of Messaging Behaviors, Preferences and Personas whitepaper, please click here.

About Center for Media Design:

The Center for Media Design (CMD) is a research and development facility focused on the creation, testing and practical application of digital technologies for business, classroom, home and community. Since 2003, CMD has used its unique observational method to study peoples media exposure and use, tracking use of 15 different media and 17 different life activities in an average day. For more information, please visit

Ball State University is redefining education by providing relevant immersive learning experiences that engage high-caliber students in intense interdisciplinary projects both in and out of the classroom. Our expert, collaborative faculty members mentor students and encourage innovation and creativity in education. Located in Muncie, Ind., a midsized city one hour northeast of Indianapolis, Ball States vibrant campus is home to about 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and abroad. Learn more at

About ExactTarget:

ExactTarget, Inc. is a leading provider of on-demand email marketing software solutions. The companys suite of on-demand one-to-one marketing applications enable clients to send business-critical and event triggered communications to increase sales, optimize marketing investments and strengthen customer relationships. ExactTarget offers four editions of its on-demand software application along with integrated solutions such as ExactTarget for AppExchange and ExactTarget for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. ExactTarget offers a range of optimization services including support, implementation and training, integration, deliverability, account management, design and deployment and strategic consulting. ExactTargets software powers permission-based email communications for thousands of organizations including,, Florida Power & Light, Gannett Co., Inc/USA TODAY, the Indianapolis Colts, The Home Depot, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Liberty Mutual Group, Papa Johns and Wellpoint, Inc. For more information, please visit or call 1-866-EMAILET.