Communication Choices - A segmentation report on communication methods used by UK consumers

Published 13|11|12

Background to the research and segmentation

We commissioned research in February 2012 to understand the breadth of communication methods used by UK adults to interact with others. This included understanding their preference for particular forms of communication depending on the circumstance: with friends and family or with businesses.

A range of different ways of communicating were investigated, including meeting face to face, using voice calls on fixed landline or on mobile phones, text messaging, emailing, instant messaging, social networking and postal correspondence. A summary of the research was published as part of the Communications Market Report 2012 (-1-) and showed that digital communications are now widely used alongside traditional methods. Overall, while consumers say they prefer to communicate face to face on a daily basis, texting is the communication they actually use most with friends and family.

This report aims to complement the high-level findings by outlining how the UK consumer population can be segmented into five distinct groups according to their attitudes to and usage of different digital and traditional communication methods, whether communicating with family, friends or businesses. By providing an insight into the communication preferences and tendencies of the population, the research offers an opportunity to dissect the consumer' into more specific groups of people who share similar attitudes and behaviours. Overall, the findings provide an attitudinal dimension to Ofcom's existing work in understanding consumer behaviour in relation to different communication methods.