Credit union marketers wondering where they can reach their members might consider this: The average U.S. consumer now spends as much time online as watching television.
That's according to Forrester Research's annual North American Technographics Benchmark Survey.
That's also a first, the think firm said, adding that its survey of 30,064 Americans earlier this year also found rapid expansion of online behaviors from the traditional Internet to the mobile Web.
The average U.S. household reports watching television an average of 13 hours a week, about the same amount of time spent on the Web. Gen Yers (ages 18-30) already spend more time on the Web than in front of the tube, but this is the first year that Gen X (ages 31-44) and younger Boomers (ages 45-54) now spend an equal time with both media.
"This equalization is not fueled by a drastic decrease in the number of hours that consumers are spending with offline TV, which has remained relatively stable over the past five years. Instead, the leveling is driven by the huge growth in time spent with the Internet," said report author and analyst Jacqueline Anderson.
The survey also found that 91% of all online households were using broadband. That represents about 85.9 million of 120.2 million American households total, Forrester said.
As for what they're doing online, 92% use e-mail and 60% are using the Internet for e-commerce, the survey found.
And as for mobile, the percent of mobile users who report texting on a monthly basis jumped from 54% to 61%, with growing numbers of older users now communicating beyond phone calls alone, Forrester said. Meanwhile, 25% e-mail via mobile and fully 52% use their mobile phones for directions and maps.
How about for financial activities? Only about 7% said they used mobile devices for that purpose in 2010, but that's almost double the year before.
Don't just look at current numbers, the report's author advises.
"You may think knowing that 67% of online Gen Yers maintain a social networking profile isn't important if you're a financial services company focused on helping Boomers with retirement plans." Anderson said.
"By the time Gen Yers are in your target market, Facebook may be a thing of the past, right? This may be true, but the sociological factors driving Gen Yers to use these social sites are important and will help you understand what they'll expect from you when they're ready to retire."