To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Connecting with the digital customer of the future

Saul J. Berman (Vice President and Global Service Area Leader for Strategy and Transformation for IBM Global Business Services (, is the author of Not for Free: Revenue Strategies for a New World)
Lynn Kesterson‐Townes (IBM Global Growth Initiatives Leader for Independent Software Vendors and Developer Relations in the Software Group (

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 2 November 2012




The authors expect that media and entertainment (M&E) providers will increasingly be challenged to offer consumers entertainment experiences that are more relevant, and therefore perceived as more valuable. This paper aims to investigate this issue.


The paper looks at the authors' 2011 survey, which revealed four prominent types of “digital personalities” that are not age‐based, but instead are based on the combination of degree of access to content and intensity of content interaction.”


The paper finds that to move beyond merely distributing digital content, M&E providers should: think and act like business‐to‐consumer (B2C) companies, no matter where they sit in the industry value chain; target consumers' specific digital personalities; deliver holistic, relevant content experiences – not just content alone; and create new flexibly integrated, cross‐channel digital revenue models that can deliver value comparable to traditional models.

Research limitations/implications

The fourth annual IBM Institute for Business Value digital consumer survey questioned over 3,800 consumers in six countries – China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the USA – to evaluate current and future digital content consumption behaviors.

Practical implications

Making digital content more social includes finding smarter ways to connect to customers, connect the ecosystem and refine content.


The paper provides useful information on making digital content more social and smarter ways to connect to customers, the ecosystem and to refine content.



Berman, S.J. and Kesterson‐Townes, L. (2012), "Connecting with the digital customer of the future", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 40 No. 6, pp. 29-35.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited