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Information and communication technology users are as diverse as the range of technology available today. The Pew Research Center’s “Internet & American Life Project” divides technology users into two core groups: “Motivated by Mobility” and “Stationary Media Majority”.
The “Motivated by Mobility” group comprises 39% of the adult population. Their frequency of online use is growing as their reliance on mobile devices continues to increase. This group is made up of individuals who hold positive and improving attitudes towards mobile access and how it facilitates their availability to others. The “Stationary Media Majority” group is comprised of the remaining 61% of the adult population. These individuals are not enamored by the “always-connected” lifestyle. They are characterized by low-level usage of mobile apps and experience difficulty acclimating to new gadgetry.
Hallmarks of the “Motivated by Mobility” group are varied and are broken down into five sub-categories including: Digital Collaborators (8%), Ambivalent Networkers (7%), Media Movers (7%), Roving Nodes (9%) and Mobile Newbies (8%). Digital Collaborators are mostly male, in their late-thirties, affluent and educated. They enthusiastically use their tech assets to share and connect with others. Ambivalent Networkers are primarily male, in their late twenties, and are ethnically diverse. They use their tech assets to text, participate in social networking and for entertainment. At the same time, they fear that their devices may become increasingly intrusive and feel that it is necessary to take periodic breaks from online use and digital consumption.
Media Movers are mostly male, in their mid-thirties, have children and are middle class. Their online and media habits are varied and they share digital content (i.e. photos). Roving Nodes are the female counterpart to Digital Collaborators; they are mostly women, in their late-thirties, affluent and educated. They use their mobile devices to manage their social and work lives, they use a wide-range of mobile apps, send email, send texts, and use their mobile devices to enhance personal productivity. Mobile Newbies are mainly women in their late forties and early fifties who have lower education and income levels than Roving Nodes. They don’t have very many tech assets and cite that their most used asset is their mobile phone because it helps makes them more available.
The “Stationary Media Majority” group can also be broken down into five sub-categories including: Desktop Veterans (13%), Drifting Surfers (14%), Information Encumbered (10%), The Tech Indifferent (10%) and Off the Network (14%). Desktop Veterans are mainly men, in their mid-forties, affluent and educated. Because this groups skews older, they are content to use their desktop computers and high-speed wired connection to explore the web, connect with friends and family via social media, while allowing their mobile phones to take a backseat. Drifting Surfers are primarily women, in their early-forties, middle class and have average education levels. They have desktop computers and mobile phones but are infrequent online users. They use technology as a basic information-gathering tool and could forgo using the Internet entirely if given the option.
Information Encumbered individuals are two-thirds male, in their early fifties, have an average education and are middle-lower income level. Most individuals in this group feel that they experience information overload on a daily basis and although, they have cell phones, feel that technology is becoming increasingly intrusive. They are largely indifferent to technology and could easily dispense with it altogether. Off the Network individuals are, largely, low-income senior women and are predominately African American. Members of this group have neither cells phones, nor computers or internet access.
The project findings imply that many Americans are deepening their relationship with and dependence on digital resources and tech assets, while others stay stagnant in their consumption of digital resources and tech assets. Both of these groups will undoubtedly ask themselves and others, ‘How did I ever live without a cell phone?” A small percentage of Americans are content to keep technology on the periphery of their lives. They stand in stark contrast to the ever-increasing “Motivated by Mobility” group, whose demand for more and more online content is palpable.
What does this mean for your dealership? In terms of marketing, it means that it’s still important to maintain traditional avenues of publicity, such as radio and television commercials and newspaper ads. These are necessary to reach the portion of Americans who shun technology or still use traditional media to gather information. However, the growing number of people who seek information digitally means that a failure to provide online content is more costly than in the past. Soon, a lack of digital presence could spell disaster for your dealership.