With the use of ‘audience segmentation,’ a new study sought to find social groups in the US manifesting high levels of alcohol consumption. The said research led to the birth of a new group of individuals that were called the Cyber Millenials. This group is composed of tech savvy singles and couples who live in the most fashionable neighborhoods in the country. The results of the said study will be published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research in August.
Audience segmentation is a technique that classifies a population according to behavior, attitude, opinion and lifestyle. This method is commonly used for social marketing strategies.
“Market research provides a unique window on individuals as consumers that has rarely been used in alcohol-prevention efforts,” explains Howard Moss, the study’s corresponding author. Moss is an associate director for Clinical and Translational Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
“We already know that a substantial portion of the morbidity and mortality associated with alcohol use is due to heedless high-risk drinking,” Moss said. In the study, he and his colleagues used an established marketing research database and combined the data with the one gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study worked to identify the demographics, consumer behavior and media habits of high-risk drinkers.
According to acting director Vivian B. Faden of the Office of Science Policy and Communications at NIAAA, the said study used a whole new approach which is what makes it so interesting. “Analyses such as this one may provide an important additional way to identify high-risk drinkers by understanding the ‘social’ groups in which they are more likely to be found.” She further explained that a better understanding of these groups in terms of their habits and preferences can help in preventative efforts.
The study identified 10 audience segments that reported engaging in high-risk drinking, twice every month. Five of these were composed of young adults and the other half are middle-aged individuals. Moss and his colleagues called the young adult group the ‘Cyber Millenials’. They manifested the highest levels of risky alcohol intake and are composed of well-educated and technologically adept individuals who lived in the urban fringe areas on the Middle Atlantic and West Coast regions.
Faden didn’t find it surprising that the group was relatively young. “Drinking and high-risk drinking are most prevalent among young people,” she said, “and many Cyber Millenials may be continuing drinking patterns established in their late teens and early twenties. In addition, this is an affluent group whose members have the resources to pay for multiple drinks, in a bar or club for example.”
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