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U.K. and U.S. are “below normal” in Mindshare’s country ranking of digital normalness

The global media agency Mindshare has recently released a report with a somewhat provocative headline “Digital Culture and the Digital Normal Index,” which defines the level of the so-called digital “normalness” or “abnormalness” by country. Put simply, it gives a deep insight into what drives us to chat online, listen to music, watch movies, blog or play games on the Internet. 

In total, 30 routine online activities ranging from social networking to watching pornography have been tracked and analyzed for users from 33 countries. The factors of motivation behind the people’s online behaviour are divided into four categories: information, self-expression and communication, transaction and entertainment. Each country has gained a separate score on each factor, taking into account the sophistication of digital infrastructure available in that particular country, i.e. the speed of connection and the depth of broadband penetration. Although all the factors are inter-relater by their nature, the same behaviour contributes to the different factor in various countries—it explains the key differences in the consumer mindsets of different “digital cultures.”

The U.S. and U.K. users are less motivated to go online 

One of the most unexpected findings is the fact that the world’s richest and technologically advanced nation, Americans, are the least motivated to go online for self-expression/communication (31 position) and transactions (26). Another surprising conclusion concerns the U.K.—the Nation of Geeks, as the recent study from Newsworks and Kantar Media names it, lands at the bottom of the digital normalness ranking. Brits are less motivated to go online for communication (28) and information (26), however are more eager to find entertainment (7) or pay online (5). Japan, the leader in technology and engineering innovations, is left behind the U.S. and the U.K. in the ranking with the lowest level of motivation to have fun online (31), do transactions (29) and socialize (26).

The absolute leader of digital normalness is China, followed by Portugal and Singapore on the second and third positions, respectively. Unlike the developed economies, the BRIC countries led by China in this ranking are all “above normal” in their motivation to use digital communication tools (India 5th,  Russia 12th, Brazil 14th).

Commenting on the findings of the research, Norm Johnston, Global Digital Leader at Mindshare, said:

“This new research is a fresh way of looking at online national audiences and shows the importance of understanding that every group is motivated by different reasons when they go online—and when in these different ‘modes’ they need to be communicated with in bespoke ways, making the use of Adaptive Marketing techniques vital. The research also challenges our pre-conceptions; for example the USA is the world’s richest nation, but with people who are less motivated to go online for transaction (26th) than almost every other nation on the planet!”

The full report in PDF can be downloaded here.

Mindshare Digital Normalness Index 2013

Country Communication / Self Exp. rank Entertainment rank Information rank Transaction rank Overall rank
Argentina 15 32 27 14 29
Australia 32 11 17 20 22
Belgium 7 20 20 30 23
Brazil 4 28 14 16 14
Canada 17 15 18 17 16
Chile 2 18 32 4 11
China 1 16 8 1 1
Colombia 21 24 19 9 19
France 22 33 33 12 33
Germany 12 27 9 10 13
Hungary 33 25 15 31 32
India 19 3 4 19 5
Indonesia 14 21 29 13 25
Italy 30 12 2 33 27
Japan 26 31 11 29 28
Malaysia 8 9 12 32 15
Mexico 13 26 22 15 21
Netherlands 18 29 30 23 31
Peru 25 19 24 21 26
Philippines 27 4 3 28 8
Poland 20 13 16 8 10
Portugal 3 17 1 7 2
Russia 24 2 31 18 12
Singapore 9 1 21 6 3
South Korea 6 8 23 3 7
Spain 11 6 5 22 9
Sweden 16 5 7 11 6
Switzerland 10 30 10 27 24
Thailand 5 14 25 2 4
UK 28 7 26 5 17
USA 31 10 13 26 20
Venezuela 23 23 6 24 18

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