UX Design

Who are your Digital Consumers?



The most successful marketing campaigns deliver a core idea that effortlessly crosses multiple channels; each channel increases its predecessor's impact. Plan channel-specific content effectively to touch the target audience with the right message, on the right track at the right time. In essence, the art of proper strategic planning is more critical than ever before. Drive success by a deep understanding of the target consumer: their values, desires, and behavior. 

A product can rarely satisfy everyone in the market. Every individual has his likes and dislikes. Thus, marketers start by dividing the markets into segments. Segmentation has been at the heart of strategic planning. Segmentation is grouping consumers by some criteria such that those within a group will respond. Measures can be demographics, psychographic and behavioral differences amongst buyers. After identifying market segments, the marketer then decides which presents the most significant opportunity, which is its target markets. The company then can develop a market offering that positions in the minds of the target buyers.

Read more about how to engage with your digital consumers - How to use emotional design to win customers

There are 2.9 billion internet users worldwide, and every person has a unique digital footprint. No two people genuinely behave the same. But digital is all about personalization. Personalization is tailoring a service or a product to accommodate specific individuals, sometimes tied to groups or segments of individuals. Building a meaningful understanding of the different types of digital consumers is vital. But it is almost impossible for brands to personalize content to an individual cost-effectively. Internet access, mobile usage, eCommerce participation has all come and gone as factors that define behavior. Two dimensions differentiate digital consumers, and each has its implications for how businesses can reach them.

Catching someone's attention and being heard amid this streaming torrent of information is the greatest challenge of contemporary marketing.

― Adele Revella, Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business

The first dimension is the extent to which a consumer is online. A higher digital engagement implies higher consumption of online video, better engagement with eCommerce, multi-screening, and multiple online touchpoints in the path to purchase. If your target audience scores highly on this dimension, the implication is that your strategy (media, commerce, content) needs to be more digitally focused. 

The second dimension is how social media connection and content are vital to a digital consumer. Do they feel the urge to check their Facebook status all day? Are they vocal online or more nosy? Are they likely to respond to branded content on social channels? And in mature economies, does social play a role in the purchase journey? By answering these questions, you can determine whether a strategy led by social content is right for your target audience or not. There are four primary personas for digital consumers. Each business could have a variation of these.

Read more about digitization trends in our previous article- Everything you need to know about digitization trends


At the top end of digital influence and social engagement are leaders or influencers (people who have large social media networks following). They literally 'live online' continuously connects through the day and are more vocal on social media. 

For example, Roy is a 21-year-old master's student at UCLA who loves to post content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. He is very interested in the latest devices and likes to get the most out of them. For example, Roy syncs his Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts with his satellite and links them to Google maps to check pictures of his destinations. He has a large following on his social media channels. Brands take notice of Roy's content generation and fan engagement capabilities. They want to leverage his influential status to sell their products to his fanbase potentially. 

Practical Consumers

One-third of the digital population in most markets are functionals. Practical consumers are slower, more cautious adopters of technology. They adapt to technology either to keep up with the world or out of necessity. They are reluctant to shop online. The shop only necessary goods online and seek physical stores for exclusivity. 

For example, Elise in Germany is a typical functional. She is concerned regarding online security and privacy and created an account on Facebook and Instagram out of peer pressure. She likes to read books, paint, and exercise rather than spending time on the internet. But in this digital world, online engagement is inevitable, and personages like Elise (practical consumers) will need help from the online environment they are currently avoiding. The brand's real challenge is to increase practical consumers' digital engagement by finding ways to provide guidance and assurance to their privacy.


Highly technologically curious and inspired spectators take pride in knowing about up-to-the-minute innovations. They are incredibly comfortable around technology and enjoy being able to figure things out for themselves. But they lack enthusiasm for social media, unlike influencers. Spectators account for up to 10 to 20% of the online population in a market.

For example, Nakayla, a 35-year-old graphic designer in Savannah, has changed how she uses social media. There has been a significant change in the way she uses social media in recent years. As she grew old, she has reduced the status updates she posts on Facebook. Her need for privacy has gone up, and she doesn't want acquaintances to know her life's details. Indeed, in the last year, she deleted unwanted friends and followers from Facebook and Instagram. She wants to connect with only those people whom she knows. While she doesn't create much online content, she is technologically advance, owning a MacBook and an iMac apart from her smartphone.

Spectators dive deep and rely on customer reviews, search engines, blogs, and retailers' websites for information. To tailor this group of people, marketers should invest in online marketing with intellectual and meaningful content as spectators are open to brand engagements.


Connectors are the opposite of spectators. In their dictionary, online means being only on social media. They account for about 15-20% of the online population in most markets. They don't have an interest in having the latest devices. A smartphone that will connect them with their loved ones and the world is more than enough for them. 

For example, moms and dads (45+age) started using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in the last few years to get back in touch with their friends. After observing their children using social media, they decided to join as well. They now regularly update their status, upload pictures, and communicate with their friends and children using social media platforms. They are a big fan of WhatsApp. From a marketing perspective, connectors are receptive to brands online since they spend a lot of their time exploring social media platforms. They are likely to be open to following brands but are looking for "useful information" and a direct personal benefit. Exclusive products at reasonable prices might encourage them to buy online.


Multi-channel marketing strategies requires to reach the right target digital customers across various digital avenues effectively. Different strategies will influence in different ways each of the four personas described above. Each requires careful examination of how they behave regarding your product, which channels you should aim to reach them through when you should seek to do so, and what types of content and execution you should use to engage them. Designial can help you identify your digital consumers. Contact us now.

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