Tapping the riches of the digital grapevine

Tapping the riches of the digital grapevine

Readers of digital news media earn more and spend more than those who don’t read news online. LANCE CLATWORTHY uncovers categories where they are earlier adopters and explores readers’ tendency to influence the buying decisions of others.

Summary

  • 13m read digital news media
  • 70% of Australians read digital news media
  • 43% have tertiary education
  • 28% higher household income than non-readers
  • Early adopters on big spend items – food and dining, travel and automotive
  • Across all categories, readers are more likely to encourage others to buy
  • 4.7m readers have shared positive comments about products and services online
  • For food and dining, 3.9m encourage their friends’ purchase decisions based on their experiences

Educated and earning the dollar

The demographic profile of digital news media readers closely reflects that of the population aged 14+. While there is a slight skew towards those aged 35 to 54, the key difference is that 43 per cent are tertiary educated compared to 36 per cent across the population.

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Readers also have an average household income of $97,900pa which is 6 per cent more than the average but 28 per cent more than those who don’t read digital news media.

Spenders on travel, entertainment, children and cars

Readers of digital news media have money to spend – and they spend it. Compared with non-readers of digital media, they over index on all spend categories with the exception of cigarettes/tobacco and baby goods (excluding clothing). Readers are more likely to be in the top 20 per cent of spenders in each category – more so on the big spend items of child care, meals out, vehicle maintenance and holidays. Readers are 34 per cent more likely to be in the top 20 per cent of spenders on holidays and airfares, for example.

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Early adopters in high spend categories

Digital readers are more likely to be early adopters in a few key categories. For food and dining 0.9m say they are often the first to buy a new product/service among their family and friends – that’s 11 per cent more likely than those who don’t read digital news media. We also see readers are more likely to be early adopters in the high spend categories of travel (+10%) and Automotive (+7%).

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Benefit from word of mouth

Compared to non-readers, digital readers consistently index as more likely to encourage others to buy based on their experiences. They make recommendations in large numbers and they can be leveraged as brand advocates. For example, for travel, 23 per cent of readers (2.97m) say they encourage others on purchase decisions – that’s 9 per cent more likely than non-readers.

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Positive product experiences shared online

On the whole, readers of digital news media make positive comments online when referencing products and services. Across a set of 11 categories, 36 per cent (4.8m) said they had made any positive comments online while 26 per cent (3.5m) said they had made any negative comments. Indeed, all categories showed a net positive reaction with the exception of Telecommunications. The most popular categories to comment on were those with the biggest net positive reactions. Travel had 16 per cent make a good comment while 8 per cent expressed some dissatisfaction.  A positive customer experience clearly allows the travel industry to reap the benefits of word of mouth. The food and dining category also generates strong word of mouth, but with the highest level of negative comments across all categories.

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Go the extra mile

10.8m digital readers intend to travel on a holiday in the next 12 months, while 2m readers have made positive online comments about travel services. Travel advertisers can particularly benefit from reaching digital news media readers. Now let’s look at the wider range of metrics that demonstrate the value of readers as early adopters and advocates.  Compared with those who don’t read digital news media, readers are 10 per cent more likely to say they are first to buy among friends. They are also more likely to keep up-to date (+19%), be asked opinions (+12%) and encourage others to buy given their experience (+9%).

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Feed on getting it right

Compared to those who do not read digital news media, readers over index on all key word of mouth metrics for the food and dining category. 11.9m readers go to a restaurant at least once a month while 2.2m readers (17%) have made positive comments online regarding this category. They are 13 per cent more likely to do so than non-readers.

Digital readers are also early adopters in this category – 13 per cent (1.6m) keep up-to date on the latest, while 7 per cent (0.9m) say they are often the first to buy. These two metrics again index strongly against non-readers.

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Sitting pretty

The beauty category doesn’t invoke a great deal of online posts, but does demonstrate some strength in word of mouth. 11.5m readers have bought personal care products in the last 6 months while 7.4m have used beauty services in the last 3 months. Compared to those who don’t read digital news media, readers over index on all but one of the key metrics on word of mouth. Readers are 12 per cent more likely to make positive comments on line and we should note that the category enjoys more positive comments from readers than negative comments. Readers are also 13 per cent more likely to encourage others to buy given their experience, while also being 14 per cent more likely to be keeping up to date with products and services.

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Make that call

Looking at Telecommunications we see an emphasis on digital readers getting advice more than giving it. 32 per cent (4.2m) say they get information about other’s experiences before buying – second only to technology (40%). Readers are 10 per cent more likely to seek this information than those who don’t read digital news media. Similarly, 28 per cent say their purchase decision has been influenced by others (3.6m) – all of our word of mouth and early adopter metrics index at 5 to 11 per cent more than non-readers.

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Early adopters, spending more and influencing others

A digital news media campaign gives the opportunity to influence consumers who in turn influence their friends and families when it comes to purchase decisions. It also allows communication with early adopters – some of whom will then become advocates at an early stage in the product/service lifecycle.

This advocacy is not only achieved through conversation but also through online interactions – it’s not surprising that digital news readers index strongly on word of mouth metrics when compared with those who will not be exposed to the campaign i.e. those who don’t read digital news media. Travel, food & dining, beauty and telecommunications are 4 categories that particularly demonstrate the opportunity to gain word of mouth from advertising on digital news media.

Source: emmaTM 12 months to February 2017. Readership based on last four weeks. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+ ; Nielsen DRM February 2017, People 14+ only.

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