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Meet Generation C. Guess what? It’s You!

March 10, 2012

We recently had a chance to thumb through this impressive piece of research published by Nielsen which is a handy collection of charts and infographics depicting the state of today’s digital culture.  Whether you are a Boomer, GenX or GenY… many of us now are ALSO part of Generation C…   we are the connected (hence the C) generation.

Readers of this blog know that we focus our attention on sharing ideas and inspiration for winning markets (as our tagline states!).   While we occasionally blog on topics outside the domain of things digital, the lion’s share of our posts have to do with ideas and inspiration for New Market Entrepreneurs looking to win by leveraging a myriad of exciting developments that help to define the tools this trans-demographic, Generation C group of users turn to in increasing numbers every day.  Among them:

That’s why we were so excited to discover this treasure trove of stats which allow us to get our arms around sizing, behavioral and even demographic characteristics of Generation C.  Many New Market Entrepreneurs may find themselves in healthy debates regarding their target markets… young, old, male, female, ect.   This data suggests early adopters and, increasingly the early majority of users embracing the phenomena outlined above (only a partial list) defies such characterization.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the Nielson infographics:

The Last Ten years

  • 274 million American have Internet Access, which is more than double that of 2000.
  • 81 billion minutes spent on social networks and blogs.
  • 64% of all mobile phone time is spent on apps.
  • 42% of tablet owners use them daily while watching TV.
  • For the first time, the numbers of laptops have surpassed desktops within TV homes.

Women have a slight edge over men and the 18-49 demographic dominates GenC.

No big take-aways on the above chart other than the consistent dominance of social media across all demographics.














The ubiquity of the mobile phone being used for social media across all demographics is astounding.  And it will only grow as smart phones continue to penetrate the market.

For the remainder of the commentary of the Nielson report, we turn to one of our favorite bloggers, Brian Solis of Altimeter group, who has done a nice job of commentary.

Every digital experience has its springboard. Whether it’s a PC, tablet, smartphone, and soon, a connected TV, our ability to every platform unifies the 5 C’s of engagement: Create, Connect, Consume, Communicate, and Contribute.

  • 274.2 million Americans have Internet access
  • 169.6 million visit social networks and blogs
  • 165.9 million people watch video on a PC

  • 70% of time using tablets is spent while at home versus 30% on the go
  • Content accessed on tablets is: News at 39%, Sports at 34%, and Books at 31%

  • On smart phones, 117.6 million visit the Internet
  • App usage peaks at 5 p.m. among adults
  • Smart phones are used by 44% of all mobile subscribers in the U.S.
  • Nielsen found that consumers increased their online video consumption by 7% from Q3 2010 to Q3 2011. As you can see in the image to the left, online and mobile video consumption is significant.
  • Younger demographics watch less TV and watch video more online and on mobile devices.
  • With each generation, TV viewership rises with age.

Nielsen also shared the engagement habits and online activity of connected customers. As consumers watch a program, they are online with: 57% checking email, 44% surfing the web, and another 44% using social networking.

When asked what they were doing while online during TV, some very interesting answers emerged. 29% looked up programming information related to the show; 19% looked up product information related to an ad; and 16% looked up coupons or deals related to the ad. The Top 5 Sites Visited While Watching TV were: Facebook, Youtube, Zynga, and Google.

How Gen-C Spends their Connected Time

On PC’s and mobile devices, Gen-C is always on. Nielsen found that during October 2011, Youtube was the top destination for all online video content, accounting for nearly half (45%) of American’s total streaming time.

  • Social networking represents 21.3% of all time spent online using PCs.
  • Online gaming accounts for 7.7%
  • Email, in many ways still the largest social network in the world, represents 6.5%

  • 55.8% of mobile phone time is spent in miscellaneous apps, with Angry Birds most likely accounting for a notable share of that time (just kidding).
  • Text messaging continues to test the limits of thumb dexterity and the ability to find new ways to abbreviate our vocabulary at 13.4%
  • Browser usage represents 11.1%
  • Social networking equals 5.5%
  • Interesting that email and IM are among the bottom of all mobile functions at 5.3%.

From Ecommerce to Mobile Commerce

As Nielsen and so many other research reports herald, mobile commerce is influencing transactions and decisions. Mobile is just one of the many channels for emerging commerce including social, F-commerce, and more importantly, syndicated commerce. 29% of of mobile consumers use their phone for shopping-related activities and more than 50% visit daily deal sites on a daily basis.

Mobile shopping activities include:

  • 38% compare prices online while in shopping in a store.
  • 38% browse products through websites or apps.
  • 32% read online reviews of products.
  • 24% search for or use online coupons.
  • 22% have purchased a product.
  • 22% scan barcodes for product or price information.
  • 18% use location-based services to find retail locations.

Finally, my favorite statistic isn’t related to what people are doing, but what they woulddo if businesses innovated in their approach to commerce: 27% of male and 22% of female consumers would use their mobile phone to make payments in restaurants and shops if they could.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2012 1:18 am

    Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

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