Presented with the choice, 69% of Americans would rather be people-savvy than tech-savvy, finds Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX) in June 2012 survey results. Women in particular would rather be people-savvy, 14% more likely than men to display this preference (73% vs. 64%). Ipsos suggests marketers take note of these consumer preferences to craft messaging that plays to people’s desire for emotional connections. Indeed, research has shown emotional connections to be a driver for anything from radio listening to TV ad response.
Breaking down the data by age group, the Ipsos survey reveals no distinct trend, although 50-64-year-olds appear to be more likely to choose people smarts than 35-49-year-olds (71% vs. 66%). Interestingly, those under 35 are less likely than 35-49-year-olds to say they would choose to be tech-savvy.
North Americans Most Prefer People Smarts
Looking at trends across the globe, the survey finds that North American respondents are the most likely to choose people instincts over tech smarts, with 72% voting for the former. By contrast, respondents from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are much more evenly split, with 54% preferring to be people-savvy than tech-savvy. Respondents from Latin America also have a lesser margin of difference, with 42% saying they would rather be tech-savvy.
Chinese, Indians Choose Tech
Despite a majority of respondents in most countries choosing people- over tech-smarts, 2 countries bucked the trend. Chinese and Indian consumers both voted in favor of being tech-savvy, 54% vs. 46%. Mexicans were not far behind, with 47% opting for tech smarts if given the choice. Interestingly, despite Chinese preference for tech smarts, respondents in Hong Kong were far more likely to choose to be people-savvy than tech-savvy (72% vs. 28%).
- Overall, globally, 65% of respondents across the 25 countries said they would rather be people-savvy than tech-savvy. Notably, CEOs mirror these same values when looking for employee traits. According to an IBM survey of more than 1,700 CEOs across the globe, respondents were more apt to cite employee traits such as collaborative (75%) and communicative (67%) than tech-savvy (41%) as critical to employees’ future success.
- On average, female respondents to the global Ipsos survey were 20% more likely than men to opt for people skills.
- Globally, those who are not chief income earners show a slightly higher preference than chief income earners for people smarts (67% vs. 63%). The unemployed show a similarly higher preference when compared to their employed counterparts (67% vs. 64%). These same trends hold true among American respondents.
About the Data: The Ipsos data is based on a survey of 12,500 consumers in 25 countries conducted in January 2012.