Report Identifies Likely Targets for Internet Marketers

IDC/LINK said the results of its latest MediaTraits study characterizes progressive parents, the country club set, and the single boomers as the three best near-term prospects for new media products and services.

The study groups U.S. households into 10 distinct segments based on activities, lifestyles, media consumption patterns, and attitudes toward new technology.

The report presents PredictiveProfiles, or descriptions of the different household segments, that examine current behavior and provide an indication of future behavior. The report also presents a picture of what online households will look like in the next nine months.

Today, the typical U.S. online household is younger, wealthier, more likely to be married, and more apt to have children at home than the average U.S. household. By year-end 1998, 23% of U.S. homes will be online.

“IDC/LINK’s MediaTraits analysis enables companies to target their consumer customers in a much more powerful way than simple summary statistics,” said Jill Frankle, program manager of IDC’s Consumer Internet research service. “As we move from broad-based advertising to more of a direct marketing model, this type of analysis becomes a critical tool for all companies.”

The types of households that have emerged as the ripest near-term opportunity for Internet advertisers and marketers represent roughly 28.5 million U.S. households.

The first segment, the single boomers, are younger, mostly unmarried, with no children, and have slightly above average income. Specifically, the boomers are hot prospects for e-commerce service, according to the report.

The second group is the progressive parents, a wealthier segment interested in any media activity that caters to their children’s entertainment or education.

Last is the country club set, composed of older, wealthier couples with strong daily online usage. As a whole, these New Media Households show higher-than-average PC penetration, online usage, and interest in a variety of consumer Internet and new media products and services.

Other findings of the IDC/LINK study reveal the median online household income is almost 45% greater than that of the average. Nearly 30% of online households have children of some age going online. And more than 56% of online households report a female head of household as an online user.

In addition, the research shows little evidence of the Internet replacing television as a mass medium. The online households watch on average only an hour and a half less television per week than the average U.S. household–about 6% less.

“There is interest in consumer Internet entertainment, but it is more along the lines of using the medium as an information or planning resource for leisure activities and hobbies,” said Frankle. “There is little interest among the best target households for making the Internet glitzy or more amenable to television-style entertainment programming or gaming–at least until the bandwidth issue is resolved.”

The report, “The New Media Household,” assesses the responses of a nationally representative and projectable sample of 2,000 households regarding ownership, purchase intent, and attitudes toward a wide range of electronic and media products and services. Data collection was accomplished through telephone interviews in IDC/LINK’s 15th annual U.S. Home Media Consumer Survey.

Data charts illustrating the study’s findings can be accessed online.

IDC/LINK, an IDC subsidiary, researches and analyzes the home computing market, leading-edge technologies in telecommunications and new media, and the convergence of computing and consumer electronics.

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