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New Report Sets Out ‘High Definition’ Marketing Agenda And Reveals Insights Into UK Society


Stephanie Dobson
Head of PR
Marketing Services
T: 44 (0) 115 99 22515 | M: 44 (0) 7966 847821
Annie Woodhead/Giles Barron
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Jim Hodgkins
Jim Hodgkins

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Core Facts

  • Real ‘Web 2.0 generation’ includes the least affluent UK consumers
  • More affluent are now the biggest bargain hunters
  • 30 per cent of consumers have an unfavourable view of advertising
  • Online brand loyalty is increasing

A new report from Experian®, the global information services company, shows how viewing UK consumers in ‘High Definition’ reveals new insights into Britain’s changing society.  HD:UK the emergence of the High Definition society, challenges traditional marketing thinking and highlights the benefits for those brands that create a highly defined picture of their customers and the dangers facing those that don’t when they find themselves ‘switched to standby’ by today’s HD-ready consumers. 

Experian’s HD:UK report identifies a number of new trends that illustrate how viewing customers in High Definition can benefit today’s brands. 

The true ‘Web 2.0 generation’?  While younger, well-educated professionals were the early adopters of social networking sites and forums, analysis from Experian Hitwise reveals that people from disadvantaged groups in the UK who are now the most common social network users.  The Mosaic consumer group, Claimant Cultures, a group that includes the most disadvantaged people in the UK, are some of the most frequent users of social networking sites and forums.  Ex-Council Community and Upper Floor Living, people on limited incomes living in small flats, are two further Mosaic groups that over index on their use of social networking sites and forums.  In contrast, the well-off professional and managerial class, Professional Rewards, are a group that significantly under index on their use of such sites.

Discount doesn’t equal downmarket?  Searching for a discount and holding out for a special offer or bargain are now behaviours most likely to be associated with better off, rather than less well-off consumer groups. Some of the most affluent groups in the UK are amongst the most likely to visit discount voucher, rewards and comparison websites in search of money-off coupons and the best bargains. Active Retirement and Professional Rewards, two affluent Mosaic groups, tend of be more frequent visitors to such sites than less affluent groups including Upper Floor Living, Terraced Melting Post and Claimant Cultures, along with Liberal Opinions.  Experian’s report also highlights that more than half of all consumers (55%) claim to “be likely to delay buying something until it’s on special offer”, a figure that rises to 68% for Professional Rewards, the UK’s professional and managerial class[1].

In addition to the need to develop accurate consumer insight, Experian’s HD:UK report highlights how increasingly complex lives and a fragmented media landscape are seeing consumers increasingly resist “push” communications.  Almost 30% of consumers now view advertising unfavourably[2] and consumers have developed an ability to carefully tune in and tune out from the ever-growing wave of marketing and advertising campaigns vying for their attention.

As a result, today’s HD-ready consumer only allows brand information, communications and messaging that have high levels of relevancy to get through.  Online search trends underline the fact that consumers are increasingly seeking out information that is only relevant to them.  Experian Hitwise found that the number of searches involving just one word has decreased from 24.5% in 2007 to 20.4% in 2009 and over 45% of the searches tracked by Hitwise so far in 2009 have consisted of three, four or five word searches.  Meanwhile, nine out of ten of the most popular online searches now contain a reference to a brand, compared to two thirds of the most popular searches in 2005.


Jim Hodgkins, Managing Director of Experian’s Marketing Services division in the UK and Ireland, commented: “HD:UK illustrates that appealing to today’s consumers means taking a one-to-one approach to marketing. It is all about developing a deep understanding of people and their preferences and communicating in a way that is far more transparent, engaging and, above all, relevant, in order to build an effective and lasting relationship with them.

“People are increasingly resistant to a ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing. They will block communications they don’t wish to receive or they perceive to be untargeted and will trawl social networks and review sites to create their own image of a brand and its products or services. Nothing will be taken at face value, and as consumers only really have room in their hearts for one or two iconic brands, the rest must work exceptionally hard using targeted marketing data and analytics to attract and retain consumers’ attention.

“There’s no doubt that the HD-ready consumer is an altogether tougher prospect to engage, motivate and do business with. In fact, consumers are ready and willing to put brands on stand-by if they are not communicating with them on their precise terms.”

For a copy of the HD:UK report visit www.experian-qas.co.uk/HDsociety.


[1] Future Foundation nVision research
[2] Future Foundation nVision research

Boilerplate Statements

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 65 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to manage their credit relationships and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2009 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil. 

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

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