Social Media Release: What’s in Your Digital DNA?

Media Contact:
Debbie Boyce

What’s in Your Digital DNA? MasterCard Study Reveals Five Unique Online Personalities across the Globe

According to a new global study from MasterCard’s Global Insights group, consumers shed their “real-world” identities when they go online and assume “digital personas” that better reflect how they feel, what actions they take around their personal information and how much value they place on their own data.

There are five personas that are spread evenly throughout global population regardless of regional or demographic boundaries. There is a clear hierarchy in the kind of information consumers are willing to share and there are certain organizations they trust most with their data.

  1. Open Sharers
    • Most highly digital group and tend to lead less risk-averse online activities
    • 50% are online 10+ times per day
    • In return for sharing their personal information, they expect deals, access, and offers
  2. Simply Interactors
    • Some of the most dedicated social networkers, yet not particularly tech-savvy
    • 80% will research products online however 63% still prefer to shop in person
    • They have low awareness of targeted marketing so they don’t see their data as valuable and don’t express concern about it
  3. Solely Shoppers
    • 90% research products online before buying and 50% use their mobile phone to price check in-store in order to get the best deals
    • They have low awareness of targeted marketing (only 37%) know that social media sites use their personal data to inform ads
  4. Passive Users
    • Less frequent on social networks (only 48%) and not heavy online shoppers
    • More likely to shop from their mobile device and more likely to trade their data for something in return
  5. Proactive Protectors
    • Highly aware of targeted marketing (82% of them know marketers can target them based on their search and browsing history)
    • Unlikely to use social networks and the most guarded with their privacy settings – taking steps to protect and control their digital footprintConsumers know what they’re worth – 64% believe their personal data has value to merchants and advertisers

Consumers who are curious to find out their online personas can take a brief quiz to find out.  For more detailed findings, visit the interactive website and research report titled, “Around the World in Five Personas,” which will be discussed during a panel session at the World Retail Congress in Paris on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 12:45 PM Central European Time.

Download the full infographic for more details and results of the study.

“Nearly 2.5 billion people around the globe use the Internet every day,” said Theodore Iacobuzio, Vice President of MasterCard’s Global Insights group, which produced the study. “This research shows that regardless of who they are and where they live, they all share something in common when it comes to how they act and behave online -these five unique global personality types. It also shows us that when consumers go online, characteristics such as age, gender or nationality become secondary and they instead assume a sense of what we refer to as ‘social citizenship’.”

“In today’s digital world, consumers are continuing to spend more of their time and money online,” said Iacobuzio. “That’s all the more reason that understanding these five distinct personas will be important for a variety of audiences, but perhaps most especially for retailers and marketers. By better understanding why consumers want to share their information online in the first place, companies can be better prepared to engage with them in more meaningful and relevant ways.”


MasterCard conducted both qualitative and quantitative consumer research between November 2012 and March 2013 in nine markets: the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, India, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Colombia. The study included a survey of more than 9,000 digital consumers aged 16-65, all of whom engaged in some type of online activity at least once a week. The five unique online personas emerged out of a vigorous statistical examination, which grouped respondents together based on the similarity of their answers to questions across six dimensions: 1) awareness of targeted marketing; 2) social networking; 3) online shopping; 4) mobile sophistication; 5) privacy management; and 6) data as currency.

About MasterCard

MasterCard NYSE: MA, http://www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

SOURCE MasterCard Canada

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8 comments on “Social Media Release: What’s in Your Digital DNA?

  1. Awesome Sabrina! The format is great and is visibly pleasing, you’ve included so much social media, even a quiz! That’s so interesting about real world and digital personalities, the title really caught my attention as well with “Digital DNA”

  2. I think you nailed it Sabrina. You linked back to the website, included social links and even a video. The links all seemed like they belonged – not like you just crammed them in where ever you could. Nice work.

  3. Thank so much I appreciate all the feedback!

  4. Wow, very impressive.
    I’m sooooo proud.

  5. Very interesting post, thanks for sharing! The quiz was quite informative, and I think that knowing about these 5 types of personalities can really help companies with their marketing.

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