– great free online insight from TNS

One of the fascinating, and challenging, things about consumer-focused digital planning for clients in different parts of the world is understanding how adoption of different aspects of digital communications technology – from social networks to smartphones – differs from country to country. To help with this, over time I’ve built-up a diverse toolkit of research and data sources and just last month a great new tool was added to this in the shape of the Discover Digital Life study from global research company TNS.

Described as “The largest and most comprehensive study of the global digital consumer, ever.” the study is based on research with almost 50,000 regular online users in 46 markets. This scale means that many countries on which it can be difficult to access comparative data have been included (including Norway – which was especially handy for me as I was preparing my session for the NORDMA MMM @Norge Conference in Oslo last week).

As well as data on ranked importance of different online activities, level of social networking activity, and relative use of computer vs. mobile devices for internet access, it also includes a useful Digital Lifestyles segmentation – from ‘Functionals’ to ‘Influencers’.

Clearly, this makes for a vast amount of research data. However, the nice folks at TNS have made a whole chunk of it available free of charge through a great interactive online tool at, that lets you not only examine the data for one country but also compare this onscreen with any other country.

Well worth a browse to help you form a clearer picture of the online lives of the consumers you want to engage with.