Eighty-four percent of mothers who use the Internet said that if they had to give up one type of media, they would miss the Internet more than any other source of information or entertainment, according to a study commissioned by The Walt Disney Group's Disney Online. The report, conducted by C&R Research found that mothers are making the Web an integral part of the daily lives. The study deployed segmentation analysis to identify four distinct groups ranging from heavy Internet users to non-techie moms. The findings revealed commonalities between three segments: "The Yes Mom," "Mrs. Net Skeptic," and "Tech Nesters,"which together comprise 77 percent of the 31 million moms online.
Commonalities include using the Internet for information gathering, purchase research, and openness to online advertising that provides tips and suggestions that relate to family life. "The fact that these Internet moms are interested in Internet ads related to family life suggests that online media can be purchased using many of the same buying techniques used in traditional media planning, by segment as well as by reach," said Ken Goldstein, executive vice president and managing director, Disney Online.
Among the study's other key findings: Moms now use the Internet almost twice as much as they watch TV, spending a total of 13.2 hours a week online versus 7.6 per week for TV. They use the Internet primarily as an information resource (86 percent placing it well ahead of TV and newspapers), secondarily as a source of entertainment (63 percent), and thirdly as an activity to engage their kids (43 percent).
The Internet outranks TV, radio, and magazines as a trusted source of information. Only newspapers were ranked higher, and then, only by 3 percent. Sixty-four percent of Internet Moms embrace ads that provide ideas, tips, and suggestions that are family-related. Moms are using the Internet to research both high-end and low-end products, helping to make purchasing decisions for the family on everything from music and books to automobiles and vacation travel. Moms ranked weather, food and cooking, entertainment, news, health, and parenting as the most popular types of sites to visit. The study was conducted in two waves--July through December 2003. Over 1,800 moms with kids ages 6-14 were recruited using the C&R Research KidzEyes panel, a statistically representative online panel.