The Psychographics of Internet Users

At this time, it is estimated that there may be hundreds of millions of Internet users around the world.  It is clear that these people have not descended on the Internet for one single reason.  Rather, each of one of them have a unique set of needs and motivations that are satisfied by the hundreds of thousands of services that are now available on the Internet.

Given that people have different needs and motivations, anyone who is intent on attracting the largest possible audience should offer a service that meets the needs of many people in an area that is not highly competitive.  Thus, began by selling books.  Later, the service may extend to as many services as possible to satisfy as many needs as possible, such as going from selling books to selling toys, consumer electronics, video tapes and so on.  Today, the leading Internet audience winners are 'portals'.  Here are some examples of Latin American portals.

What is a portal?  This is basically a gateway to a multiplicity of different services, including news, free e-mail, chat rooms, forums, jokes, search engines, directories, reference, maps, greeting cards, guest books, instant messaging, personal schedule, advice, horoscopes, merchandise sales, services, travel information, weather data, games, personal finance, stock quotes, downloadable music, streaming audios and videos, downloadable software, game rooms, classified ads, personal ads, translation engines, investor information, etc.

The determination of which services to include in the portfolio of offerings clearly depends on an understanding of the users' needs.   A typical user may have multiple needs too, so that the goal is to become a one-stop portal for all of the users' needs.

We will now refer to some survey data from the TGI Colombia survey, which is a consumer survey of 7,035 persons between the ages of 12 and 64 years old conducted by IBOPE Colombia during 1999.  Within this sample of respondents, a sub-sample are Internet users who listed the types of Internet activities that they engage in; in addition, they answered a battery of psychographic questions about values, attitudes and lifestyles.  In theory, this can lead to a very complicated data analysis project.  Here, we will only present a short analysis, based only upon a few of the most popular Internet activities and just half a dozen psychographic statements.  The relationship is presented as a correspondence map.

Correspondence Map of Internet Activities by Psychographic Statements (Base: Internet Users)

(Source: TGI Colombia, IBOPE Colombia)


(posted by Roland Soong on 3/25/00)

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