IBM Identifies Four 'Digital Personalities' to Help Marketers Create a Personalized

By Jacqueline Lee April 17, 2012

IBM’s new “Beyond Digital” study has found that 82 percent of global consumers between the ages of 18 and 64 have embraced connected digital devices. Among these consumers of digital content, IBM has identified four “digital personalities.”

The Efficiency Expert. The Efficiency Expert uses digital services and devices to simplify their daily lives. They send emails instead of letters, use Facebook, access the web on their smartphones and comfortably shop online.

The Content King (or Queen). These consumers use their digital devices to play games, download music and movies and watch television programming online. The largest percentage of people in this category are male.

The Social Butterfly. Social butterflies want instant access to their friends anytime, anywhere. They frequently watch videos posted by other users, tag online photos and update social networking sites.

The Connected Maestro. The connected maestro accesses games, music, video and other content via their mobile device or smartphone application. While not as absorbed in their devices as Content Kings, they are still adept at accessing a wide variety of online information using their devices.

The point of identifying these personalities, according to IBM, is to customize the digital experience according to the type of customer who owns the device. IBM suggests that entertainment companies adjust their infrastructures to be flexible and scalable, allowing a variety of pricing approaches based on how users like to consume their content.

“With the mass infiltration of digital devices, organizations can now enhance, extend or redefine the customer experience within minutes due to a steady stream of real-time data via social media,” said Saul Berman, global strategy consulting leader at IBM Global Business Services, and co-author of the study. “Media companies need to engage with consumers based on their digital personalities, if they are going to maintain a sustainable and connected relationship.”

The study, which surveyed 3,800 people in six countries, found that people who watched content on tablets preferred to pay via subscription. Those who watched content on smartphones preferred to pay for each viewing, while those watching movies on a website preferred to watch advertising that was included with the movie.

The Efficiency Expert is the most common personality type, followed by the Connected Maestro. Social butterflies came in third, and Content Kings finished fourth.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Contributing Writer

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