Insights: Media Habits
Traditional media habits die hard, but new media can often lead us down surprising paths.  Below are some examples of the thousands of media insights available from GfK M
QR Users Wield the Power of Influence
Consumers looking for immediate information and money-saving deals can "snap to it" and take pictures of QR Codes to access content. QR codes, barcodes let users instantly snap a picture with their mobile phone and connect to information like a marketer's website, have been used by about 9 percent of U.S. adults who own smartphones.

Data from GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer® show that "snappers" are "Category Influentials"—consumers who are deeply familiar with certain product categories. They frequently make recommendations across broad social networks, are highly trusted and are word-of-mouth-leaders. Snappers are considerably more likely than typical adults to be influencers for new technology, home electronics and mobile phones, as well as alcoholic beverages, fashion, politics and more.

For more information on QR code snappers, view the May 2012 edition of The Source.

Operating In The Era Of Big Data: In the era of Big Data, successful brands need collaboration from their people and their marketing databases
By Scott Turner, as seen in the May 2012 issue of the ANA Thought Leadership eMagazine
Collaboration. This powerful word has come to describe how companies, and people across companies, must operate in order to reach optimal effectiveness and efficiency. Many brand teams work with numerous partner agencies to develop, implement, and execute marketing and media strategies.
For any one brand, there can be multiple creative agencies for TV, digital, and print. Additionally, separate agencies can be used for search, display, and social campaigns while still other media agencies are tasked with the planning and execution of national TV, national print, spot TV, and radio campaigns. So collaboration is clearly key.
Collaboration can also apply to seemingly disparate marketing data across your organization. As it now stands, online and offline data sources are often viewed, and used, separately by the myriad agencies described above. Multiple data sources are available in most organizations that can help inform the development of strategies and the definition of consumer targets. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of various data sources and how one data source can be used to leverage another, however, is key to producing maximum returns on your marketing and media data investment.
The Challenge in Blending Marketing Databases
President Reagan used a Russian proverb when referring to his negotiations with the USSR about nuclear disarmament, “trust, but verify.” Although thankfully not on a global thermonuclear scale, the same can be said of the proliferation of data sources being generated in this era of “Big Data.” There is no one magic database that will provide the answers to all your marketing challenges. At a minimum, data providers should offer transparency with regard to how data is being obtained.
One solution to the inherent challenges of blending marketing databases can be achieved through sophisticated database integration techniques. Integrating one dataset with another can be an enormous challenge because of differences in data design, manufacture, and quality. A critical component in database integration is the quality of the datasets being merged.
Lower quality data will only erode the overall effectiveness of the final dataset. Using predictive-analytics to integrate separate consumer databases, GfK MRI has produced several cross-channel databases capable of providing a more universal picture of consumer behavior. GfK MRI has fusions with Nielsen TV & Netview, USA TouchPoints, comScore, and soon, Keller-Fay’s Talk Trak.
Once the challenges around successful integrations have been conquered, the rewards can be sizable. For example, GfK MRI’s integration with USA TouchPoints has produced a consumer database that examines custom brand targets within the context of how those consumers interact with others, their location, media usage, and emotional state-of-mind throughout the day.

The chart below shows when nutrition/energy bar users are using various media while snacking, a potent insight for thinking about when messages should be delivered.
An Opportunity for Optimal Integration
The era of Big Data is upon us and growing faster than most of us could have ever imagined. The successful brands will be those that expect collaboration from their people and their marketing databases in order to achieve optimal consumer targeting effectiveness. If we do not strive for more collaboration among our disparate datasets, we will reinforce the marketing silos that exist around brand marketing activities, whereas the goal is optimal integration across all marketing channels.

NYT best-selling author James Surowiecki’s book, The Wisdom of Crowds, speaks to how ideas and thoughts from a group are more precise and powerful than those of the brightest individual in the group. The same theory applies to your investment in consumer marketing data.
Scott Turner is the executive vice president of agency and advertiser sales at GfK MRI. You can contact him at
Majority of Kids Age 6-11 are Using Cell Phones
Mobile phones have become ubiquitous, even in the hands of kids.  While only 22% of children aged 6 to 11 have their own phone, 3 out of every 4 in this age group are using a cell phone – either their own or that of a family member. And as we would expect, at 87%, 10 and 11 year olds are most likely to use the device, although a surprising 61% of the youngest segment (6-7 year olds) are also using a cell phone.

Eighty percent of these cell-using kids are making a phone call, with parents, at 61%, the most likely to be called, followed by friends.  Other top reasons for cell phone use include game playing, picture taking and texting.
Majority of Teens Use Social Networking
Today’s teens have quickly become social networking aficionados, with 84% of 12-19 year old females performing one or more social networking activities in the last 30 days as well as 73% of their male counterparts.  While nine out of ten 18-19 year olds are involved in social media, the younger segments are also active, with the percentages for 15-17 and 12-14 being 81% and 69%, respectively.

Despite the somewhat greater usage by females, the three most popular tasks for both male and female teens are visiting a friend’s profile or page, updating their status and commenting on a friend’s post.  In addition, they are generally in agreement when asked about their reasons for visiting or using a social networking website, with the top three being “keep in touch with family/friends”, “reconnect with people from my past” and “follow the activities of my friends and family.”

African Americans, Asians, U.S. Western Region More Apt for Online Education

The Internet, in a relatively short period of time, has changed our lives in multiple ways.  With just a few clicks we can find medical information, buy stocks, play video games, watch TV programs and even take a class.  In fact, 14.5 million adults (6.3% of the 18+ population) have taken an online class or course in the last 30 days.

Not surprisingly, this group tends to be young, with men 18-34 indexing at 139 while 18-34 year old females are twice the U.S. average at 196.  Geographically, those taking an online class are most likely residing in the West, and both Blacks/African Americans and Asians are significantly more apt than Whites to be doing so.   Other than the Internet itself, magazines are the best medium to reach these consumers as Magazine Quintile 1 (Heavy) indexes at 151 compared to 45 and 98 for TV and Radio Quintile 1, respectively.

Texting Most Common Cell Phone Activity, Behind Calling
Cell phones are now owned by close to 9 of every 10 American adults.  The non-owner minority is most likely to be older and less educated, as only 70% of Pre-Boomers and 71% of those not graduating from high school carry a cell phone.

But what are the rest of us doing with our phones?  And which activities are the most popular?  Other than making an actual phone call, which is almost universally done by every user, the most common activity is texting (70%), followed by taking a photo (54%), going online (40%) and sending email (34%). 

It should be noted that the activities are not equally performed by all owners, with age and income being the most discriminating characteristics.  Specifically, the very young (18-24) and the very wealthy (individual employment income of $200,000 or more) are the top indexing population segments within the total mobile phone universe.
Click here to read about Millennials' interaction with texted ads on cell phones in a GfK MRI press release.

TV Show Type Preference Varies By Region
Americans watch over 13 billion half hours of TV every week.  Watching TV is clearly a popular activity and American pastime.  Even with all the new technological gadgets that have appeared in the marketplace over the last few years, such as tablets, e-readers and smart phones people are still drawn to the TV.  Certain segments of people gravitate towards different kinds of programs.  This can be seen in the following show type examples.

What programs people watch may be affected by where in the country they live. People in the South are 29% more likely to watch daytime dramas and 24% more likely to watch pageants. On the other hand those in the Northeast are 54% more likely to watch hockey and 24% more likely to watch tennis.  Race may also play a part in TV preferences, with African Americans being 212% more apt to watch track and field games while White adults are 15% more likely to watch horse racing.
Fundraisers Are More Likely to Read Magazines
Making a donation to support a cause we believe in is not uncommon, but rarer are those people who are actively engaged in some kind of fundraising.  This is defined as “soliciting and gathering donations (money or other items), typically for a non-profit organization or political cause,” and 18% of the adult population has done so in the last 12 months.

What do we know about these people who take time from their busy lives to raise money for a worthy cause?  Not surprisingly, they are affluent, being 68% more likely than the average adult to have a household income of $150,000+.  In addition, they are 20% more likely to reside in the Northeast and 34% more apt to be a member of the GenX generation (b.1965-1976).

These fundraisers are also heavy consumers of media, with Magazines indexing highest for Quintile I, at 139, followed closely by Newspapers, Outdoor and Internet and to a somewhat lesser degree, Radio.  TV is the only medium this group is not heavily using. 


A more detailed view of specific media identifies the top interests within magazines, radio and Internet, with airline and travel magazines the favorite of fundraisers.  Public, religious and adult contemporary are their top three radio formats and they gravitate most often to photo-sharing websites.
TV Viewing Preferences Vary Between Boys And Girls
Ninety four percent of America’s 6 to 11 year olds are watching TV on a regular basis.  While girls and boys are equally likely to be frequent television viewers, the gender difference in genre preference starts early in life.  Boys gravitate to both action/adventure and space/science shows but we see girls opting instead for music/dancing programs and those about families.  The most watched program type, however, is cartoons, regardless of gender or age.

Three out of 4 TV viewers age 6-11 are sitting in front of the set at some point every day, while another 16% watch 3-6 days a week.  Girls are more likely to watch with friends and the younger the child, the more apt they are to be viewing with a parent.   But this is generally not a solitary activity; only 6% of kids state they are watching “by myself."
Millennials More Likely To Attend Movies On Opening Weekend

The Millennial generation (ages 18-34) is 77% more likely to watch movies on the opening weekend. With an index of 194, those first in the movie line are also likely to be the first to try new tech products.

Besides being tech savvy, these movie viewers are more likely to collect comic books and play chess. And just when you thought that they are the solitary kind, surprisingly they are more likely to be engaged in team building and camaraderie, as evidenced by their strong participation in soccer and basketball.
For more interesting insights about movie viewing, click on The Source newsletter.



Tweeps Are Civic-Minded And Proactive, an increasingly popular micro-blogging site, has attracted a widespread user base of active tweeps.  According to GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer, these Twitter users are more likely to partake in social, political and environmental activities than the average consumer.  In fact, Twitter users are 142% more likely to participate in environmental groups/causes.  They are also 141% more likely than the average American to be an active member of any group that tries to influence policy or government and 103% more likely to attend a political rally, speech or organized protest in the past 12 months. 
Read more about Twitter users and their Internet habits in the GfK MRI Press Release.

Source: GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Spring 2010
E-Reader Owners Are Social Media Users
Social networking websites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, are interactive sources of communication and content generation.  New GfK MRI data show that adults 18+ who own an e-reader are more likely than the average American to be on these sites.  In fact, e-reader owners are 375% more than likely than the average American adult to have visited the professional networking site in the last 30 days.  Additionally, e-reader owners are 269% more likely to be on the micro-blogging site and 64% more likely to have visited in the last 30 days.

Source: GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Spring 2010


E-Reader Owners Also Like Magazines
E-readers, the popular new digital distribution platform for magazines, have recently become increasingly popular among American consumers.  GfK MRI data show that, both behaviorally and attitudinally, current e-reader owners favor magazines.  In fact, 91% of e-reader owners are magazine readers. 
In addition to being heavy magazine readers, e-reader owners have favorable opinions toward magazines.  65% of e-reader owners say they read magazines to keep up-to-date with the latest styles and trends.  And, 49% of e-reader owners say magazines make them think and are a good source of learning.

Read more about e-reader owners in GfK MRI's Press Releases.

Source: GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2009


Most Kids Eventually Wind Up Using The Internet
Three out of 4 kids went online in the last 30 days.  While 10-11 year olds have the largest number using the Internet at 85%.  It’s interesting to note that even 6-7 year olds are now likely to be online, with 3 out of every 5 doing so.
  • 61% of 6-7 year olds
  • 76% of 8-9 year olds
  • 85% of 10-11 year olds

The most popular online activity is game playing (83%), but we also see 40% watching video, TV programs or movies, 34% using it for homework or school stuff and 33% listening to music.

There is a clear difference in how boys and girls use the Internet, with girls more likely to email, IM and visit chat rooms while boys use it for anything related to gaming.

Read more about kids' media habits in GfK MRI's Press Releases.


Boys Focus On Video Games, Girls On Music
Playing video games is a popular activity for kids, but especially for boys, as 36% of them play every day compared to 19% of girls.  Listening to the radio (music) is more popular among girls.  83% percent of girls 6-11 have listened to the radio in the last 30 days compared to 71% of boys.
This preference is also evidenced by their respective word-of-mouth communication about these two activities, with girls more likely to hear about and tell friends about music and boys more so for video games.





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