- 29 Jul 08, 08:42 GMT
Companies love nothing more than being able to slot us all into a convenient box so they can target their advertising dollars and pitch their products in a more sales oriented way.
Fair dues I guess you could say. Well now a new study by the research company Forrester will help them in their quest with what it calls "the largest ongoing survey in the world to explore consumers' attitudes, ownership and use of technology."
While some of it is standard fare and is pretty obvious, the survey does tie down a few interesting trends.
According to Charles Golvin, a principal analyst at the company, a major strength of the report is that it includes a broad swath of so called Gen Y members. They are youngsters in the 18-28 age bracket, a group of 38 million American citizens that "sets the pace for technology adoption."
And for most companies this group is apparently the most elusive said Mr Golvin.
"Gen Y is the audience that most companies are struggling to understand right now because it's key to their future revenue growth."
Surely you might think its Generation X everybody wants to sweet talk because they have the spending power? Not so said Mr Golvin who noted the distinction as thus.
"Gen Xers use technology when is supports a lifestyle need, while technology is so deeply embedded into everything Gen Yers do that they are truly the first native online population. They are heavy users of new media. It is their default."
What does that mean in real terms? Well it's much of a muchness at this stage.
The survey showed that nine in 10 Gen Yers own a personal computer and 82% own a mobile phone.
More crucially Gen Y spends more time online, for leisure or work, than watching old fashioned TV. 72% use their phone to send or receive texts and 42% watch internet video at least once a month.
Gen Xers are no slouches. Of the 63 million adults in this sector, 32% own an HDTV, 29% have a DVR and in the last three months, 69% shopped online and 65% banked online.
In short what the study seems to say is that it's not just about how much technology these sectors of the digital society have, but how they use it.
So what about those other age groups?
The Boomers, aged 43-63 are apparently 'older dogs reluctantly learning new tricks.' They do not go online for new activities and use technology for convenience.
The 39 million seniors out there, who are aged 64 and over, spend the least amount of time online and still watch more TV and read more newspapers than the others.
Mr Golvin said "One might say an older dog is even more difficult to teach tricks to."
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