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

INDIANAPOLIS — 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 University’s 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 people’s media use and exposure from the Center for Media Design with ExactTarget’s 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 University’s 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, ExactTarget’s 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 people’s 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 State’s 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 company’s 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. ExactTarget’s 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 John’s and Wellpoint, Inc. For more information, please visit or call 1-866-EMAILET.

COPYRIGHT 2008 Business Wire
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

Bnet Business Network

Research Facility Deploys Innovative Eye-Tracking Technology to Enhance Effectiveness and Usability of Web, Television and Mobile Media

LOS ANGELES — Schematic, a WPP Digital company, and the Center for Media Design at Ball State University today announced that they have opened a Media Insight Center (MIC), a research and development facility for eye-tracking and usability, at Schematic’s New York City offices.

“Much of the research we’ve done in the past has relied almost completely on qualitative data gleaned from interviews with users,” says Dale Herigstad, Schematic’s Chief Creative Officer. “This center allows us to collect quantitative data on how users interact with an interface or product. We are fortunate to have an in-house testing facility that will allow us to factor this information directly into the design process.” Read the rest of this entry »


MUNCIE, Ind.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 20, 2004

Morning television news programs are growing more popular with viewers, possibly signaling the end to the dominance of early evening newscasts, says a new study from Ball State University.

Researchers from Ball State’s Center for Media Design recently observed the media consumption habits of 101 people, discovering that people watched more news from 6 to 10 a.m. than any other part of the day.

“These findings suggest a major shift from just a few decades ago when the evening news programs drew the majority of viewers,” said Robert Papper, co-author of the Middletown Media Studies, a major examination of media use. “Because of the introduction of new technologies and cable television, consumers are taking control. They are telling us that ‘we’ll consume the news when we want and the shows or networks we want to watch.’

“If they want to watch the weather, they can tune into the Weather Channel at any time of the day,” he said. “Why should they wait for the local news if a cable channel has it when they want to watch?”

Papper, Michael Holmes, communication studies professor, and Mark Popovich, journalism professor, are investigating media consumption. Their findings were presented April 20 at the Radio Television News Directors Association and National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas, Nev.

As part of the Middletown Media Studies, researchers compared traditional phone surveys and diaries used to measure media usage with direct observations – or shadowing – of 101 people for a day to record media consumption.

The studies examined a wide range of media, including television, radio, telephone, Internet, books, newspapers and magazines to review consumer use of media.

The news consumption study found the early morning and early evening newscasts had an equal number of viewers, but early morning viewers spent more time watching news programming.

Midday was popular with 29 participants who logged 1,443 minutes. Late evening news programming from 7 to midnight registered highly with 45 respondents who consumed 2,455 minutes.

“I think early morning news is more popular because people have more time to watch it,” Papper said. “They get up, flip on the television and get ready for work. Because Americans are working and commuting more than ever, they are getting home later. They may not be home for the early news because of work or family obligations.”

Papper said the study may force local television news producers and media companies to address the shift in consumer consumption of news programming.

“Instead of having a 5 to 6 p.m. newscast, you might see a 7 p.m. news program,” he said. “Producers will have to create news shows when viewers want to watch them or risk losing those viewers.”

Other findings

The average television viewer was observed watching 94 minutes of news daily, nearly triple the amount recorded by phone surveys and diaries.

The study also found few differences in television viewing based on gender but extensive differences in media consumption based on age. Researchers discovered people 35 and older are watching television three times as much as people ages 18 to 34 and consuming nearly four times as much television news programming daily as their younger counterparts.

How the studies were done

The Middletown Media Studies were done in July and August 2003 with people living in “Middletown,” America – Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana. The name comes from landmark sociological studies done by Robert and Helen Lynd in the 1920s and ’30s that cast Muncie as the typical American town, or “Middletown.”

Along with shadowing 101 people, researchers collected 359 individual diaries and surveyed 401 individuals by phone.

About Ball State and the Center for Media Design

Ball State, located one hour northeast of Indianapolis in Muncie, Ind., is the third-largest public university in Indiana, with more than 18,300 students. Originally a private teacher training school when it opened in 1899, Ball State became a university in 1965.

The Center for Media Design, a research and development facility, focuses on the creation, testing and practical application of digital technologies for business, classroom, home and community. The center is part of Ball State’s iCommunication initiative, funded by a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Who Are We

Insight and Research at the Center for Media Design (CMD) has begun to receive quite a bit of attention from industry publications and mainstream media outlets in the last several years as a groundbreaking and reputable media research organization. This archive is only for educational purpose, if the content involved any copyright issue, please contact: Michelle Prieb:
March 2021



Insight and research in the News