Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Austin is where the digitally savvy things are

That’s from a Scarborough Research report, which found that Austin has the highest concentration of consumers that own certain high tech items (such as DVRs, satellite radio, VoIP), engage in certain internet behaviors (including blogging, downloading music, online gaming) and use leading-edge cell phone features (email, text messaging, etc.). Scarborough Research terms these consumers the digitally savvy, and nationally, 6% of the population is classified as digitally savvy. While Austin boasts 12% of its population as being digitally savvy. Yet another reason why Austin is the coolest place to live! (Ok, perhaps I’m slightly biased as I call Austin home…)

As both the report and this recent article in Ad Age point out, the digitally savvy are leading edge digital consumers. Historically, this demographic has provided marketers a glimpse into the future in terms of cell phone and third screen behaviors. These behaviors are what enable the lifestyle of the digitally savvy – they are entrepreneurs and business decision makers that tend to have a longer commute, plus they like to travel. Thus they seem to prefer to “pull” information at their convenience instead of having it “pushed” to them. For example, they are more likely than the general population to download TV and video programs online.

The digitally savvy make an ideal target for a variety of market research engagements since they are more likely to be heavy and diverse online spenders, entrepreneurial, business decision makers and hungry for information (among other things).

  1. Ethnography could be used to further define how and from where this demographic pulls their information and to discover how a relationship model of advertising might be incorporated into the digitally savvy’s daily habits.
  2. Usability tests, especially on e-commerce sites, could yield tweaks to your site that greatly improve conversion rates. The digitally savvy, through their own tendencies, will have explored many sites and thus have developed a sense of best-of-breed on which they base their expectations of where certain parts of a site to be.
  3. Ideation would also be a great way to harness the strengths of the digitally savvy. Their entrepreneurship and hunger for information point to creative thinking processes that are just waiting to be tapped.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts – how else can we tap the digitally savvy? And let us know if you want to take a trip to Austin to visit the digitally savvy in person.

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