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5 Things to Know about Internet Users in Colombia

Colombia is one of the latest countries to be added to our quarterly research into the attitudes and behaviors of global internet users.

That means we’ll be speaking to 5,000 Colombians across the course of each year to place a spotlight on their digital lives and lifestyles – understanding everything from their social media, app and website usage to their media consumption, brand engagement and ecommerce behaviors.

To give you a sneak peek into the insights we’ll be gathering, here are 5 key things to know about the country’s internet users.

1. Facebook and WhatsApp are wildly popular.

When it comes to social media, Facebook and WhatsApp are in pole position in Colombia, with over 90% of internet users having accounts on the platforms.

What’s more, almost all of these account holders are actively using the services;

Last month, 92% of Colombians said they visited Facebook, and 89% report having used WhatsApp.

The popularity of Mark Zuckerberg’s services in Colombia is highly typical of the Latam region. For example, 93% of Mexican internet users say they have a Facebook account, as do 92% in Argentina and 89% in Brazil.

That’s one reason why slowing growth rates in markets like the U.S. and UK shouldn’t be too much of a concern for the service; with internet penetration much lower in a country like Colombia, there are still huge numbers of people to come online, and the vast majority of them will be joining Facebook’s services.

2. Concern about data privacy is widespread.

As in most countries we track, Colombian internet users are very concerned about their data privacy.

Over 8 in 10 worry about how their personal data is being used by companies.

Meanwhile, more than 2 in 3 are concerned about the internet eroding their privacy. The importance of addressing these concerns when dealing with customers in Colombia becomes even clearer when we compare the country to the other 40+ markets we analyze.

Colombia posts the fifth highest figure when it comes to worrying about their privacy being eroded, and the second highest figure for being concerned with their personal data.

In fact, the latter sentiment is particularly pronounced in the Latam region; four of the top five positions are occupied by Latin American markets.

Top 10 Countries for Data Concerns
% who agree or agree strongly that “I worry about how my personal data is being used by companies”
Brazil 84
Colombia 83
Portugal 81
Mexico 80
Argentina 75
Spain 73
South Africa 71
Philippines 70
Singapore 69
Malaysia 68

3. The smartphone is king.

Colombian internet users are pretty clear about which device is most important to them: the smartphone.

Almost two-thirds select this as their top device, leaving desktops (22%) and laptops (12%) trailing in their wake. Age is a key determiner here:

75% of 16-24s choose mobile, compared to just 30% of 55-64s.

But in conjunction with the huge popularity of social media and its key role as a brand research channel, it’s not hard to see why any strategy in Colombia needs to be rooted in a mobile, social experience.

Top Devices in Colombia
% who select the following at their top device
Mobile 64
Desktop PC 22
Laptop 12
Tablet 2

4. Samsung is their mobile brand of choice.

Samsung is the top mobile brand in Colombia, with just over a third of internet users saying they have one. Huawei, the iPhone, Motorola and LG complete the top five.When it comes to future purchase intent, Samsung’s lead becomes even stronger.

For 60% of the country, it would be one of their top choices when they upgrade their handset or purchase a new one.

Apple’s iPhone does well here too; 35% say this would be among their top choices, more than double the number who have one currently. But there’s still no doubting Samsung’s position of dominance.

5. Social media beats search engines for product research.

Ask Colombian internet users about the sources they typically use to research more information about a product or brand, and it’s social media (66%) which takes a lead over search engines (61%).

Certainly, there’s once again an age effect at work here:

The older the person, the less likely they are to use social media for this purpose.

Even so, it’s still over half of 55-64s who cite social media as one of their go-to points, underlining how important it has become in daily life.

1 in 5 Consumers are Taking a Digital Detox

It’s something of a cliché to start a thought piece by pointing out that today’s consumers are more digitally connected than ever, but it’s a cliché for a reason.

The internet had existed for 20 years as a cultural and commercial phenomenon before it became part of everyday life one for most people – but when it happened, it happened quickly.

As mentioned in last week’s post, there’s a reluctance and resistance to being constantly connected.

One third of consumers in the UK and U.S. have expressed their concerns over the impact their smartphone has on their wellbeing.

But how are people acting on these concerns?

In a special study, we surveyed 4,438 internet users aged 16-64 in the U.S. and UK and found that:

7 in 10 have tried to moderate their digital consumption in some way.

We divided our audience into “Digital Detoxers,” who’ve been on a full digital detox, either while traveling or for any extended time, and “Digital Dieters” who’ve taken steps to cut down their time spent online, such as restricting usage around bedtime, and finally the “Digitally Comfortable”, who haven’t felt the need.

Cutting back, not cutting out

The ‘digital detox’ is nothing new, with some of the earliest press mentions going as far back as 10 years.

Still, those who want to cut back but don’t want to commit to a full detox regimen outnumber devoted digital detoxers five to two.

So, if they aren’t cutting it out completely, how are they managing their digital consumption?

  • App Cleanse: 37% have deleted an app or program in the past month
  • Mini Detox: 35% take short breaks for hours at a time
  • Digital Diet: 27% have limited their digital intake to emails or other routine activities
  • Notification Cut: 24% have switched off notifications or emails
  • On the Couch: 23% have moved their phones out of the bedroom

A millennial trend

Looking at those who do opt for a full digital detox, we found over-representations of 25-34 year-olds, who accounted for 33% of the sample, as well as men and people with postgraduate degrees.

They skew highly in other measures of socioeconomic status, like income and professional seniority, too.

From our analysis, a typical Digital Detoxer profile is that of a 30-year old man with a postgraduate degree, in a full-time managerial position.

Youth, higher socioeconomic status, and education are all associated with this trend.

Low-tech solutions for a tech-powered behavior

From sleep-boosting tools like smartphones’ night modes and open-source tool f.lux, to time-tracking apps and social media browser throttles, there’s no shortage of technical means to manage digital addictions.

Nevertheless, our survey respondents were less keen on technical solutions to their tech problems.

Just 8% had downloaded an app to limit or monitor their usage, 9% had switched off their internet, and 14% had deleted a social account or app.

Real-life relationships are what drive people away from phones

Digital detoxers and people who take more moderate means to limit their usage have the same priorities.

They want to spend more time with their families, take part in offline activities, and focus on their health.

8 out of 10 detoxers found the experience liberating

Based on our research, the digital detox worked for 8 out of 10 of people who tried it. 2 out of 3 of those who chose to monitor their usage somehow were happy about it too, which suggests to us that the means are matching the needs.

“FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) is often spoken of as one of the defining characteristics of the millennial experience.

It’s certainly an experience that many digital detoxers, millennial or otherwise, can recognize.

49% agree that “that moderating the time [I] spent online made [me] feel like [I] was missing out,” compared to 40% of those who simply limit their consumption.

What the future holds for brands

Out of our non-detoxer cohort, some 45% said they might consider taking some measures to monitor the amount of time they spend online.

There’s no crisis of faith in the mobile phone, but less than 1 in 5 would consider a low-tech solution – switching their phones off for more than a few hours.

People broadly agree on their reasons for cutting down on social media time: family, hobbies, offline interactions.

Across our research, we see that they also agree on why they want to go online: family, interests, online interactions. If people find their online interactions so taxing that they want to cut them down, this presents itself as at least partly an interaction problem: a sense of being drawn away or interrupted.

Successful social media platforms have managed to dispel these notions to a large extent, not by cutting people off from family, but connecting them.

Apps, brands and platforms can do more to integrate with family and connect people, rather than urge them to feel disconnected and in need of a digital detox.


Campaign of the Month: Ad Council – End Family Fire

Do guns belong in the family home?

Across America, this is a question that regularly features in the political arena. But in the media, it’s one that brands tend to shy away from. The Ad Council, Droga5 and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence are trying to change that.

With their new public safety campaign, the discussion is boldly directed at an audience traditionally left to one side: gun owners.

Highlighting the need for better gun safety measures in U.S. homes, the campaign works to “make gun owners part of the solution, not the problem.”

Coining a new phrase to spark a new conversation, here’s why we chose ‘End Family Fire’ as our August campaign of the month.

The Insight

8 kids a day are accidentally killed or injured by ‘family fire’.

This is the alarming insight that shaped the campaign, portraying a serious need for public attention.

This, along with the findings from the New York Academy of Medicine, who found that more than 4.6 million kids live in homes with guns that are unlocked and loaded, and three out of four of them know where those guns are kept.

Launched on the 8th of the 8th to reinforce the number of young lives lost daily, the multi-platform campaign to “end family fire” is aimed at preventing accidental shootings in the home.

Image credits: The Drum

The Message

The core message is a deeply emotional one that tugs at the heartstrings to reinforce the notion that:

“There’s no more tragic a death than when it’s by someone you love.”

But instead of urging people to take sides on the topic of gun ownership, the message is a call to gun owners to make safety their number one priority.

“This really came from a desire to fundamentally change the landscape with regards to gun violence prevention,” Ky Hunter, VP of programs at the Brady Center told AdAge. “I’m a gun owner myself, I grew up in the gun culture. A large majority of owners feel excluded. This is about engaging gun owners and making them part of the solution, not the problem.”

For Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Center, the campaign is about shifting perceptions around gun culture: “Just like the term ‘designated driver’ changed perceptions about drinking and driving, the term ‘family fire’ will help create public awareness to change attitudes and actions around this important matter.”

With this goal in mind, Droga5 spoke to the families of gun owners across the country. From their conversations, the team identified overarching themes of closeness, love and fear which governed this innate urge to protect their own.

Image credits: The Drum

The Result

Running nationwide online, in print and across broadcast media, the campaign is supported by a website,, offering practical tips on how to practice gun safety in the home.

Using an impactful insight to change the conversation and shift perceptions around gun ownership, the strengths of this campaign lie in its ability to pose questions rather than point fingers, urging people to think differently.

It says that regardless of whether you’re for or against, there are measures we need to take collectively to prevent tragedy.

The Brady Center sought to create “something independent of any politics, completely non-partisan and non-political,” Brown tells Adweek.

“This is a nonpolitical issue where gun owners and non-gun owners alike can come together and play a role in reducing the number of innocent lives lost to gun violence.”

The campaign has received support from a number of groups, including the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, Bishops Against Gun Violence and Veterans for Gun Reform.

Mobile Phone Fatigue Hits 1 in 3 UK and U.S. Consumers

The UK’s telecoms regulator – Ofcom – recently released its annual report on the communications market, and the findings are clear. The surge in internet penetration, daily hours spent, and the number of ‘always-on’ consumers is climbing year-on-year.

More mobile connectivity is helping many people feel closer to those they care about, to find entertainment, and to keep up with news and current affairs, but change has come quickly, and with it, some concerns.

In surveys, people tend to mention a host of pet peeves – phones at the table, interruptions in social settings – which are minor on their own, but together point to a wider unease with the role of mobile and social media.

A sizeable minority of mobile phone users worry about the overall impact on their quality of life.

In a special survey we carried out on 2,300 UK and U.S. mobile phone users in August 2018, more than one in three respondents felt their mobile phone usage had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing.

Concerned mobile phone users are slightly more likely to be male (52%), and include more younger people (57% under 35 years of age versus 34% for the less-concerned group). Women are among the majority of heavy phone users, but concern and contentment transcend demographics.

Heavy smartphone users aren’t more concerned

Our research shows there’s no unambiguous connection between usage and level of concern. We compared people who report checking their phone more than 10 times an hour (who made up 28% of our sample) with moderate users (the 32% who do so twice an hour or less) and found a roughly even three-way split.

This holds true when we look at respondents with the highest reported usage: 14% of concerned users report checking their phones “more frequently than they can count”, but 16% of the less concerned group report the same. More concerned users aren’t putting down the phones either, so there’s more at play than frequency of usage alone.

Mobile phone reliance is linked to higher stress levels

There might be more to these concerns than just setting limits and balancing time. Users who fear negative impacts also report feeling much more insecure without their phones than they do without their wallets.

On the other hand, we see no obvious difference between content and concerned users when it comes to the share of people who feel anxious or worried if they forget their phones. Whether they feel comfortable coping without a phone for a day or not, 8 out of 10 would worry about leaving their phones behind if going out.

It’s down to how, not how much, you use your phone

Content users are more likely to be checking emails, responding to missed calls or messages (by a massive 26 percentage point margin), and checking social media updates. The main activity for concerned users is checking emails, followed by responding to messages and missed calls.

If we contrast higher and lower usage groups, heavy and moderate users, the main differences emerge in less engaging areas: casual browsing, passing time, social media. Those extra checks, clicks and swipes aren’t as impactful, emotionally or practically.

Setting limits is key

A comfortable majority of people who don’t feel negatively impacted by their mobile phones do check them regularly throughout the day, with only a slight majority managing to leave them be during working hours.

Based on this research, staring at your phone all day does not seem to be the hallmark of an addict, but concerned users are also more likely to be on their phones before bed, and they show less restraint during social times and working hours. The real difference, if anything, seems to be about reliance on the phone and on the ability to dial it down when needed.

Brands can design for user-experience beyond the here-and-now

As a snapshot of a moment in time, this survey alone can’t tell us whether we’re witnessing a rising or falling trend in phone fatigue and concern.

What it does tell us is how people use their phones could be more important than how much they use them.   

In a related study, 24% of U.S. and UK respondents said they’d taken action, like uninstalling apps or unsubscribing from services, to moderate their phone usage for health and wellbeing reasons.

If this continues, brands and app designers may need to think beyond user friendliness in the moment of usage and consider the overall friendliness to their users’ lives.

This could impact hours spent in the here and now, but if it keeps a consumer from ditching the app or service, it may be worth it.


Audience Definitions

  • Frequent users are users who report checking their phones more than 10 times an hour during a working day.
  • Moderate users refers to users who report checking their phones no more than once or twice.

Why Survey Data is More Valuable than Ever for Consumer Research

Survey data is a crucial component of any marketing strategy. Why? Because there’s nothing more powerful than the opinion of the masses.

But today, we see marketers looking to web analytics more and more for answers, hoping that a real-time approach will get them ahead of their competitors in today’s fast-paced world.

This, paired with growing concerns over data privacy means some brands are actually moving backwards, to a world with less data and therefore less strategic spending.

Here’s why survey data is more valuable than ever.

It’s more reliable and accurate.

While web and social analytics certainly have their place in any marketing strategy, they can’t be your only source of data.

Survey data is the only reliable way of knowing not only what your consumers are doing, but why they’re doing it.

This insight doesn’t simply stop with tracked IP addresses, it goes far deeper to ensure you’re analyzing real people, and what defines them.

Put plainly: without hearing it directly from your consumers, you can never be sure of their actions and intentions, or the motivations behind them.

But the key lies in finding a valuable source of data you can trust. This is where research and methodology matter most; you should know exactly how your research is being conducted, including sample sizes and quotas used, to get the right analysis.

Marrying this with your other data sources allows you to paint a more coherent and accurate picture of your target consumers.

When you know your research is reliable, both in terms of methodology and accuracy, you can shape a data-driven strategy to believe in.

It’s more ethical and GDPR-compliant.

In the post-GDPR era, ensuring your data is ethically collected and the privacy of your consumers is respected is something no business can afford to overlook.

With many sources of data, compliance means ticking a box to offer consent, allowing for the tracking of IP addresses and storage of information. But these terms can often be misleading, resulting in consumers unintentionally opting in for usage of their personal data.

Survey data, like that offered by GlobalWebIndex, operates under a clear, fully opt-in methodology, meaning all insight is willingly and intentionally provided by the respondents themselves.

To offer complete transparency into our approach, we clearly outline how we ensure GDPR compliance through our data collection and processing.

This means you can rest assured your data is being collected correctly and ethically, while getting the insight you need to shape campaigns and strategies that will resonate.

It allows you to go deeper.

Knowing what your consumers are doing and where they’re spending their time is fundamental to an effective media and marketing strategy, but this isn’t all there is to know.

Survey data allows you to dig deeper than other sources allow, helping you understand far more than what’s on the surface.

Using data that analyzes interests, attitudes, preferences and perceptions, you can get a much more in-depth understanding of your target consumers.

This enables you to build out data-driven buyer personas and consumer journey maps that build a foundation for truly personalized marketing.

It’s more tailored to your needs.

Unlike other kinds of data, survey research can be customized to ensure you’re getting the answers you need, from the right consumers.

Custom research of this kind enables you to tailor your data to your business needs and target consumer groups in as much detail as possible.

This gives you the opportunity to ask your audience exactly what you want to ask, fueling more consumer-centric decisions and assessing the uptake of your products or ideas before going to launch.

What’s more, it enables you to ask more in-depth questions to take your personalized marketing approach to the next level.

In the wake of GDPR, this is a fundamental step for every business to take to ensure their programmatic advertising withstands the test of time.

It’s accessible to anyone.

The need for deep consumer insight is becoming greater as brands realise with more reliable data comes more strategic decisions.

For this reason, data and insight is moving in-house, becoming more ingrained in every day activity, with more resource being dedicated to expert analysis.

But to extract immediate value from survey data, you don’t need to be an expert.

Using research conducted and analyzed through GlobalWebIndex, you not only get in-depth analysis, you get the actionable recommendations to go with it.

That means less resource and expertise is needed, and it’s easy to get the value you’re looking for.

Getting it right

With solid consumer research, the opportunities are endless.

Brands of every size need access to the kind of granular consumer data we collect, because survey data is not only more valuable than ever, it’s a crucial component of success in 2018 and beyond.

Tips for getting it right

  • Research your provider’s methodology.

When it comes to data collection, a transparent methodology is key. Research your chosen provider’s process to ensure it’s the right choice for you.

  • Validate your targeting.

Before conducting research into your target consumers, it’s essential to know you’re looking at the right people. Start by using a service like GWIQ Analytics to ensure you’re maximizing your reach.

  • Consult the experts.

Knowing what kind of sample size you need, along with quotas and measurement techniques requires a deep knowledge of survey research. Get expert help to ensure you get the most value from the data you retrieve.

  • Align your questions with your business objectives.

Knowing what questions to ask your target consumers and how to frame them is essential to getting the answers you need. Consult the data experts to ensure your surveys align with your business goals and objectives.

  • Make your research easily accessible.

For your research to have an impact across the business, it’s important to integrate with your own data and platforms. Using an API, you can plug GlobalWebIndex into your own systems and processes, easily accessing all insight in one place.

10 Insights Shaping the Media and Entertainment Landscape in 2019

entertainment trends

Media and entertainment is a fast-moving landscape. To keep pace, brands need to stay up-to-date with ever-changing consumer trends.

Our latest entertainment report investigates the drivers behind the trends, giving marketers and researchers the information they need on the state of the industry moving forward.

Here are 10 key insights from the report you need to know.

1. TV remains most effective for advertising.

Broadcast TV ranks highest for brand discovery among our respondents, with 37% finding out about new brands through TV ads.

What’s more, experience-based marketing is growing more popular. Internet users are looking to brands to provide entertainment themselves, consuming more branded videos and games.

2. People still mainly watch broadcast TV.

Across every age group, internet users still watch more broadcast TV than online, despite year-on-year drops in broadcast engagement.

It has the greatest reach, and commands the most time.

This goes to show that, while streaming giants like Netflix continue to spread globally, online TV isn’t cannibalizing broadcast – it’s complementing it.

3. Product placement continues to work.

27% discover brands via product placements in TV shows or movies.

In contrast, cinema ads come in towards the bottom of the list. Even for those who go to the cinema each month, it doesn’t rise above the 20% mark.

4. Social media is an entertainment hub.

Social platforms are increasingly looking to integrate sports commentary with broadcasting rights, in a bid to draw viewers from broadcast TV.

But this isn’t where their content strategies end.

Social media services are also investing in long-form video platforms and looking more at music licensing, ultimately looking to upgrade social media into a one-stop entertainment hub for users.

And with 44% of internet users watching a video on social media in the past month, it’s a clearly shift that’s taking shape.

5. It’s a time of opportunity for music streaming.

The famously ongoing rivalry between streaming giants Apple, Spotify and Amazon is helping drive user growth.

However, local services are also showing the importance of culturally relevant content, proving that it may be possible for smaller brands to compete in this space.

The rise of smart speakers may be the key to unlocking an audience of casual listeners, creating opportunities for streaming services of any size to resonate.

6. Internet users prefer having access to content rather than owning it.

46% of internet users say they prefer to access music through online services than buy it offline.

This is another potential reason for the rise of music streaming services.

And with streaming services (21%) and music downloads (22%) approaching a tipping point where streaming will overtake downloads, this is clearly a trend to watch in the year to come.

7. Entertainment is crucial for brand discovery.

Entertainment has a crucial role to play in the discovery of new brands and products, whether it’s through TV, vlogs or movies.

Among our tracked brand discovery channels, TV ads are one of the most impactful of all, with 37% reporting they discover new brands or products through them.

8. Esports is becoming mainstream.

Esports viewers are a desirable demographic for marketers, and continued investment and organization of competitions is propelling the sport’s broadcasts towards established, mainstream media channels.

9. The console decline is stabilizing.

In recent years, we’ve reported a year-on-year decline in games console ownership. But signs indicate this decline is stabilizing.

Consoles now allow consumers to browse the internet, upload content to social media, communicate with friends, listen to music, shop online and engage with various forms of online TV.

While there are fewer console gamers than there were in 2014, the device’s evolution into a multimedia hub means console gamers are spending more time on their devices.

10. Mobile TV viewing is popular.

44% of internet users now watch TV on mobile.

The portability of smartphones, together with impressive screen resolutions, and generous data packages points to their future role in online entertainment.

This is opening up new opportunities for marketers to reach consumers throughout the day, whether that’s during the morning commute or at the gym.

Within a sector that’s constantly evolving, anyone looking to compete needs to have insight into consumers’ minds and actions to know where their behaviors are headed.

For a complete analysis of these trends and more, download our latest entertainment report.