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Pioneering TouchPoints survey gives new integrated picture of consumer lifestyles, behaviours andmulti-media use

Results of the first IPA TouchPoints Survey; a week in the life of a representative sample of the GB adult population during the latter part of 2005.


The IPA today (23rd March 2006) revealed the results of its long-awaited TouchPoints Survey; a week in the life of a representative sample of the GB adult population during the latter part of 2005.

The survey, conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) questioned 5,010 people through a substantial self-completion questionnaire and a PDA (personal digital assistant) time-based diary that collected data every half hour for a week on how they were spending their time, their opinions, and the role of media in their lives.

TouchPoints is the most ambitious piece of media research undertaken for a generation and will impact on how commercial communications are planned in the future. Its primary objective is to give communication strategists a consumer-centric planning tool which analyses how people are using the increasingly wide range of media available to them and how this usage fits in to their lifestyles. It has been designed as a stand-alone survey and to be integrated with other media research currencies and surveys such as BARB and the NRS (June 2006). It also provides the first commercial benchmark for all media, including for the first time SMS, direct marketing and the internet.

A snapshot of the research shows that consumers are leading distinctive and individual lifestyles and that TV viewing still dominates over other media including the internet:

Multi-Media Usage
Changes in written communication: From pen to palm pilot
· Only 12% of all written communication is now using pen and paper; 49% is via email, 29% via SMS text, 10% via Internet Instant Messaging
· 39% of written communication by adults aged over 65 is on paper; for 15-24 years olds it is only 5%.  This younger age group favours electronic methods of written communication, 48% is SMS, 28% is email, 20% is Internet Instant Messaging
· SMS is used more by women than men, accounting for 36% and 23% of their total written communication respectively
· 29% of 15-24 year olds send in excess of 10 text messages a day; 7% send in excess of 20. 92% txt once a week
· 70% of 15-24 year olds ignore all commercial text messages they receive
· 25% of all mobile phone users (and 59% of 15-24 year olds) take pictures with their phones every month
· SMS texting is almost as common as talking on mobile phones (Talking is 54.9%).

Textual intercourse: what we do whilst we text
· Whilst texting, 32% of 15-24 year olds are also watching TV, 18% are also listening to the radio, 10% are also browsing the Internet and 6% are also reading

A comprehensive media mix
· TV remains the lead medium for the majority of adults – this is true for all age groups and is irrespective of internet access
·The media hierarchy in hours for all adults between Monday and Friday is: 3.9 television, 1.3 hours radio and 0.8 internet. On Saturday and Sunday this changes to: 4.5 television, 1.5 radio and 1.0 internet
·27% of users of games consoles also read a daily newspaper

Television vs the internet
·On a typical weekday a 15-24 year old home Internet user spends 2 hours surfing the Internet – this rises to 2.4 hours at the weekend and averages 14.8 hours for the week.  33% of this group are spending 4 or more hours watching television on an average weekday. The mean for this group is 3.2 hours on an average weekday rising to 3.9 hours at the weekend. Commercial television accounts for 75% of viewing
·Internet usage is highest in the South East

Through the letterbox
· The average individual receives 8.5 pieces of advertising mail each week, 4.9 (57%) are personally addressed and 3.6 (43%) are 'random' pieces of mail
· 45% open the majority of ad mail that they receive
· Only 4.8% respond to ad mail that they receive from companies
· 55% of adults are happy to receive information from companies they have bought products and services from
· 53% of individuals indicate that they are annoyed by the amount of ad mail they receive

Consumer Lifestyles
Quality time with the family
· On an average weekday, a two parent family unit with children spends 21% of its time as a complete family unit, peaking at the 9pm watershed.  On the weekend, this figure rises to almost double (39%), peaking at 7pm on a Saturday and 9.30pm on a Sunday
· Watching TV remains the core shared activity with in the family home
· Middle managers spend less time with their children than senior or junior work colleagues

Working 9 to 5?
· During the course of “the working day”, the unemployed are happier than individuals in full-time employment.  Contrastingly, once the working day is completed, the employed show greater levels of happiness
· Adults in full-time employment consume 8 hours of media during the day (a mix of TV, radio, internet, reading).  This rises to 9 hours amongst the unemployed and the balance of TV viewing rises from 46% to 65%

Who is the most stressed?
· People in Greater London (32.7%) are the most likely to be stressed because of pressure of work. Those in the South West (20.6%) are the least stressed

Who is the most optimistic?
· People in the North West are the most optimistic about life (68.5%) and would rather concentrate on their own lives rather on things they cannot control

· 30% of employed adults work from home on occasion; 16% do so at least once a week, 7% on a daily basis
· Those working from home are less likely to have children than employees working in an office

· 70% of 15-24 year olds say they ‘could not live’ without a mobile phone
· Only 12% of mobile users never use their phone for texting (49% of these are over 65)

Shopping online
· Shopping for groceries over the internet is highest in East Anglia at 14% followed by Greater London and the South East at 13.5%. It is lowest in the North at 2.6%

Consumer Behaviour
Time is money

· 30% of the population are prepared to spend more to save time with this being true for those aged 15-24 (39%) and the least true for those aged 65+ (21%)
· People in Greater London are the most likely to say they are willing to spend money to save time (38.6%)

Corporate responsibility
· 83% of the population would not deal with a company they couldn't trust: the older the individual (92% of 65+) the more true this is (70% of 15-24's)

Consumer Opinions
Attitudes to ads

· 31% of the population find advertising intrusive, 15% do not
· Those aged over 65 (41%) are more likely to find advertising intrusive than the younger generation (27%)
· 89% of the population feel some adverts appear so many times that they become irritating
· 63% of the population would be happy to have advertising on the BBC channels in return for scrapping the licence fee
· Only 14% of individuals like the idea of interactive ads – This rises to 29% among those aged 15-24
· Men are 1½ times more likely to like the idea of interactive TV ads than women

Social graces
· 51% of the population believe there is too much bad language on TV, 43% think there is too much violence, 29% deem there to be too much sex.  This is felt most strongly by women and the elderly

Political thought
· 72% of adults want to keep the pound rather than switch to the Euro
· 84% of the population think that it is wrong for the Government to ignore public opinion between elections

Lynne Robinson, Research Director, IPA said:  “The IPA TouchPoints Hub Survey is designed to act as a new and critical link in the channel planning chain which is long overdue and absolutely vital in today’s multi-media world. It gives us a unique view of how media impacts our lives, how we spend our work and leisure time and what our prevailing attitudes are. The findings of the first TouchPoints Hub Survey confirm some things we already suspected: that families still like to spend time relaxing together in front of the television. But it’s also given us some new thoughts: that although all age groups are embracing technology, it’s the young who are absolutely wedded to it.” 

For further information:

Lynne Robinson, IPA Media Research Director tel 020 7201 8200
Jim Marshall, Chairman of the IPA Media Futures Group and Chairman of Starcom UK tel 020 7190 8007

Note to editors

The TouchPoints Hub Survey is a major project from the IPA Media Futures Group (MFG) and is available to all sectors of the business from 23rd March 2006.

To subscribe to TouchPoints, which has a varied rate card, please contact Mark Cross, TouchPoints Commercial Director on 01438 820939 in the first instance.

How the survey was conducted

The 5,010 participants in the survey each completed two tasks, firstly a substantial self-completion questionnaire and secondly a PDA based time usage diary which collected data every half hour over the course of a week.

Self-Completion Questionnaire
The self-completion questionnaire investigated what communication channels the participants’ use, how they use them and what they thought of them; plus their attitudes to a wide range of issues, general activities and shopping habits plus a wide range of demographics.

PDA Diary
The PDA time based diary asked participants to record their activities on a half hourly basis over the course of a week.  Questions asked were:
· Where they were?
· Who they were with?
· What their main activity was?
· What media they were using?
· How happy / sad they felt.

The two datasets provide a valuable snapshot of consumer life in Great Britain and how this interacts with media in particular.

The Founding Media Agencies are:
· Initiative Media
· Media Planning Group
· MediaCom
· mediaedge:CIA
· MindShare Media UK Ltd
· PHD Media Ltd
· Starcom Worldwide
· Universal McCann
· Vizeum
· ZenithOptimedia Group Limited

The Founding Partner Media Owners who backed the initiative include:
· Chrysalis Radio
· JCDecaux
· Guardian Newspapers
· News International
· SMG Group
· Tesco Media Services
· Wanadoo

First subscribers include:
· All Response Media
· archibald ingall stretton…
· Bartle Bogle Heggarty
· BLM Media
· John Ayling Associates
· J Walter Thompson
· Manning Gottlieb OMD
· Publicis
· Walker Media
· WWAV Rapp Collins Media


Last updated 05/06/2008

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