According to “A Biometric Day in the Life,” a research study commissioned by Time Inc. and carried out by Innerscope Research, I’m a bit of a “native” and an “immigrant” when it comes to media consumption and device usage.
On the one hand, I am quite a Digital Native – someone who likes to simultaneously switch between devices and access to information. The Digital Native keeps their smartphone at arm’s length and bounces from said phone to perhaps, an iPad, every other minute.
I’m guilty – but with an asterisk. This Digital Native is the first to admit they would happily abandon all devices in exchange for a couple of free hours outdoors. (And I secretly despise talking to a BlackBerry rather than the friend who’s holding it during dinner. It must have something to do with that college professor who beat “the art of listening” into me.)
According to the report, I also subscribe to the logic of the Digital Immigrant – who is naturally linear and who believes that there must be a beginning, middle and end to a story. The Digital Immigrant is a bit more of a traditionalist, in a sense, and likes to know that things work “because that’s the way they work.” A believer in the tried and true.
What’s interesting about this new research is, of course, how well marketers pick up on our moods and behaviors – and who really distinguishes between the Digital Immigrant and Native and all of the asterisks that follow.
Innerscope monitored for 300 hours the mobile behaviors of individuals outfitted with biometric belts to measure their emotional engagement and response patterns.
Interestingly, about 54 percent of Digital Natives would prefer to text someone rather than talk to them. Only 28 percent of Digital Immigrants felt the same. Digital Natives also switched devices and platforms 27 times an hour, Innerscope reported.
“In order to keep Digital Natives engaged, content creators and marketers will need to think differently – grabbing them from the beginning is essential, as is content they can snack on and offering multiple access points to every story,” commented Betsy Frank, Time Inc.’s chief research and insights officer, about the report.
There is a constant transformation in media (and campaign) consumption that will leave companies and brands scratching their heads on what’s most visually interesting and what will warrant an emotional response.
“Storytellers and marketers in this digital age will continue to face an increasingly complex environment with a higher bar for engaging an audience of consumers,” said Dr. Carl Marci, chief scientist and CEO of Innerscope, in the report.
Although marketers may have more opportunity to get their campaign in front of the eyes of a Digital Native, that native also experiences fewer highs and lows of emotional response to different media, which means that they will often switch devices to regulate their mood or to beat boredom before it has the chance to set in, the research indicates.