New consumer study finds that, with apps such as Whatsapp and Kik Messenger, 15 percent of smartphone users prefer direct messaging over social media

New consumer study finds that, with apps such as Whatsapp and Kik Messenger, 15 percent of smartphone users prefer direct messaging over social media
Experian Marketing Services’ The Always-On Consumer report examines behavior of seven different smartphone segments

New York, N.Y., Feb. 18, 2014Experian Marketing Services, a global provider of integrated consumer insight, targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing, today published a new report that details the seven distinct types of mobile consumers, ranging from those who rarely put their device down to those who barely pick it up. The Always-On Consumer report examines the attitudes and behaviors of today’s smartphone owners and how the rapid adoption of smartphones and other connected devices have transformed the way customers learn about and buy products. As described in the report, fifteen-percent of the U.S. population are Personals, which despite being one of the younger consumer segments, are among the least likely to use social media with nearly half of Personals reporting that they do not use social media. Meanwhile, their use of messaging apps like Google Talk, Whatsapp and Kik Messenger are well above average.

“Smartphones provide brands and consumers with an intensely personal medium, and marketers need to understand the individual preferences of their customer base in order to deliver rewarding brand experiences,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research, Experian Marketing Services. “For example, marketers that want to reach “Personals” will want to invest in advertising through more direct channels like SMS and app-based messaging, rather than social media.”

A complimentary download of the full report can be accessed at:

The seven segments detailed in the Always-On Consumer report include:

Prodigies: Making up 5 percent of mobile users, Prodigies are constantly connected and are the first to adopt new technology. They are a strong market for Windows phones and open source platforms that allow for greater customization. Chrome, Google+ and Google Talk have high concentrations of Prodigies among their users. Prodigies are nearly 10 times more likely than the average smartphone owner to say they would be interested in receiving ads on their phones and seven times more likely to say they would buy the products in those ads. Likewise, they are nearly six times more likely to purchase products they see advertised on social media.

Tribals: This group is hyperconnected, often through multiple devices. Thirteen percent of consumers are Tribals; they are both heavily influenced by and strong influencers of others through social media. Tribals are the most likely to use the Internet to plan shopping trips and are influenced by Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and other highly visual properties.

Personals: Personals, as described above, are mobile-savvy users who love their phone but are increasingly cutting out the middle man when it comes to connecting with friends, preferring direct messaging to social media. In addition to heavy messaging apps usage and low social media usage, Personals are 2.3 times more likely than the average smartphone owner to say they would be interested in receiving ads on their phone and 60 percent more likely to say they would actually purchase products advertised on their phone.

Pragmatists: Pragmatists make up about 18 percent of consumers and are mobile professionals who use their phones primarily to stay on top of work and home. Pragmatists are open to advertising on their phones, but they need to get something in return. Otherwise, this segment is less likely than average to purchase items they see advertised on their phone.

Browsers: At 24 percent, the largest group of consumers is Browsers, those that are still learning about all the things they can do with their phone, primarily browsing the mobile web and consuming a bit of news. Among Browsers who use social media, only 3 percent say they are likely to purchase products that they see advertised on social sites. Even fewer Browsers say they are likely to purchase products they see advertised on their phone.

Occasionals: Eleven percent of smartphone users are Occasionals, those that use their smartphones mostly for making calls, playing a game and checking the weather, while the myriad of additional features go unused. Occasionals are much more receptive to digital campaigns on their personal computer and more open to native advertising in print newspapers and e-readers.

Talkers: Mobile use among this group is fairly light. At 13 percent of consumers, Talkers use their phone mainly for verbal conversations and the occasional video phone call.  As such, digital and mobile campaigns are most effective with this group primarily to supplement campaigns run in traditional media.

The Always-On Consumer report and segmentation was created using Experian Marketing Services’ Winter 2013 Simmons Connect Study, a comprehensive survey of 25,000 U.S. adults. Simmons ConnectSM links consumer lifestyles, attitudes, brand preferences and more to their complete cross-channel media use across 11 platforms, including smartphones, digital tablets and personal computers. A cluster analysis was used to segment adult smartphone owners in the sample based on their agreement with more than two dozen different psychographic statements that measured their attitudes towards mobile phones, the Internet and social media. Results are projectable to the total U.S. smartphone adult population.

Additional information about the “Always-On Consumer” and smartphone trends across channels and consumer segments will be featured in Experian Marketing Services’ upcoming 2014 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report. Copies of the report can be preordered at:

Suzanne Blackburn
Experian Marketing Services
1 212 863 4648

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services is a global provider of integrated consumer insights and targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing. We help organizations from around the world intelligently interact with today’s dynamic, empowered and hyperconnected customers. By coordinating seamless interactions across all marketing channels, marketers are able to plan and execute superior brand experiences that deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximize profits.

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About Experian
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