Zenergy Communicationshttp://zenergycom.com/blog/2009/02/19/marketing-via-new-technologies/

Consumer profiles and what works

LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Reunion are just a few of the social networking sites that are connecting friends, colleagues, and businesses using a wide variety of media. Consumer profiles and buying habits are changing and marketers must pay close attention just to keep up.

Here is an overview of typical consumers identified during a recent survey by The Center for Media Design at Ball State University and how you might target these groups.


  • High school students
  • Aged 15 – 17
  • They are the most digitally connected group

Media Exposure:

  • Heavy media users, however exposure is limited or controlled during the school day.
  • Out of school, Teens heavily use the computer, television, magazines and music

Best Communication Mediums:

  • Personal communication is focused on IM, text messaging and social networking
  • Marketing communication preference is still snail mail direct mail but they are open to marketing through a variety of channels
  • Use multiple communication channels and provide teens with a choice


  • College students
  • 18 – 24 years old

Media Exposure:

  • Surprisingly media exposure is generally lower than commonly believed notably because of a relatively low exposure to television.
  • College students are heavy Internet users and spend most of their time surfing the net, reading books, listening to music and watching movies.
  • This group spends their days using media concurrently.

Best Communication Mediums:

  • Personal communication is again predominantly telephone and email
  • They are heavy social networking users
  • SMS is the favourite method for personal communication among female college students
  • This group is very spam-savvy and look only to receive SMS marketing messages when permission has been granted.
  • The preferred channels of promotional marketing are again direct mail and email.
  • Keep business and personal separate, email is the channel for promotional messages.


  • Males
  • Between 18 – 34 years old
  • Without children
  • Employed full time or self employed
  • An annual household income of $35K +
  • Have at least a college education

Media Exposure:

  • Exposed to multiple media, primarily through computers
  • Spend an average of 8 hours a day on computers
  • Watch nearly 3 hours of television a day
  • Spend an average of 40 minutes on land line telephones
  • 20 minutes on cellular telephones

Best Communication Mediums:

  • Although they are fluent in new media technologies they still turn to email and phone first when communicating for personal reasons
  • Marketing communications via SMS is preferred for urgent customer service issues (i.e. travel delays, financial alerts)
  • Email is heavily favoured for non-urgent marketing communications (i.e. promotions, surveys)


  • Females
  • Between 18 – 34 years old
  • Consider themselves a “homemaker”
  • An annual household income of $35K +
  • There are two segments of Young Homemakers
    • Heavy traditional media consumers
    • Low traditional media consumers

Media Exposure:

  • High traditional media consumers spend 6 hours watching television, 3 hours online and 40 minutes per day reading magazines and newspapers
  • Low traditional media consumers spend 2 hours watching television, 1-2 hours online, and approximately 10 minutes per day reading magazines and newspapers

Best Communication Mediums:

  • The telephone is still the preferred mode of communicating with friends and family
  • Email is the favourite for written personal communication and text messaging and IM are also often used
  • Marketing communications via direct mail and email are preferred by this group
  • Opt-in emails and direct mail with relevant, helpful information and products


  • Men and women
  • 35 years old +
  • Professionals employed full-time
  • An annual household income of $75K +

Media Exposure:

  • Established Pros are moderate media consumers
  • They watch an average of 3 hours of television per day
  • More than 3 hours per day listening to the radio (in the car commuting to work)
  • Are online multiple times throughout the day
  • Spend the average amount of time reading newspapers and magazines

Best Communication Mediums:

  • This group has a strong preference for using the telephone for all personal communications
  • When it comes to written communication email is the number one choice.
  • The use of IM, SMS and social networking is low compared to other groups.
  • Female Established Pros are more likely to use new digital channels to communicate with friends and family
  • Established Pros are online shoppers and are most influenced by direct marketing messages with email and direct mail equally influencing the purchase decision.
  • Email and direct mail are the way to go, marketers should focus on relevance – this group has money to spend and does so frequently.


  • Retired men and women
  • College degrees

Media Exposure:

  • The Retired group spend on average 7 hours a day watching television
  • They spend a significant amount of time reading a combination of newspapers and books, but less than 10 minutes a day reading magazines.
  • Retired men spend more time listening to the radio than retired women.

Best Communication Mediums:

  • A very small percentage of the Retired consumer use text messaging and IM as primary forms of personal communication with most opting for the telephone or writing postal mail.
  • Of those that are online, the majority use email for personal communications. More retired men are likely to participate in social networks while retired women are more likely to use IM
  • When it comes to marketing traditional direct channels are preferred. Attitudes towards unsolicited marketing messages are negative, even for direct mail – retired consumers only want to interact with companies they know.
  • Keep it simple and focus on a combination of email and direct mail.

Source: “Walking a Day in Subscribers’ Shoes”, White paper by ExactTarget and The Center for Media Design at Ball State University (2008)