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November 29, 2012

Online Behavior Study Reveals Tech Preferences

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

There has always been a generational gap when it comes to technology. A new study reveals just what those gaps are, as well as differences in technology between single people and married people.

An independent search marketing company in the United States, The Search Agency, has released the results of the 2012 Online User Behavior and Engagement Study that was performed by Harris Interactive (News - Alert), the company best known for its Harris Polls. Harris Interactive polled 2,006 American adults to see what their preferences were when it came to the use of mobile technology.

Image via Shutterstock

There are many enlightening discoveries coming from this study. It showed that single adults chose to use their smartphones more than married couples; however, married couples chose to use a tablet over their smartphones. Generation X and Generation Y prefer using computers, tablets, and smartphones in addition to televisions more than the post-World War II baby boom generation ahead of them.

It also revealed the interesting habits of today’s mobile society. Many of the “younger” generations are more apt to use their mobile device, rather than their computer, to research information about products seen on television. The study also shows that Generation Y tends to use their devices and go online during the day compared tp other age groups; 53 percent of them are more likely to make a purchase during the traditional business day and they also interact on social media sites more during the day than the “older” generations.

Mike Solomon, the vice president of marketing and strategy at The Search Agency, reflected on the results, "For many of the findings, percentages zigzagged between age groups, rather than plotting a consistent bell curve—indicating how factors such as generational differences, disposable income, and the influence of children on their parents impact results.” 

He offered some analysis of the results, “Married people are often older, have more disposable income and can more easily justify superfluous pieces of technology, such as tablets.  At the same time, baby boomers are often more tech-literate than their slightly younger counterparts—likely because their millennial children are pushing them to use new tools and devices.”

This study can educate advertisers about important mobility trends. Solomon added that it is important for advertisers to consider how to match content and experiences with the time of day and best device with which to engage users; “Everything from age to proximity to your television or other devices impacts how and when you reach for your computer or mobile device to shop, search or get social.”

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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