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Know your audience - who uses the internet?
30 August 2018
By Clodagh O'Carroll.
As an event manager, it’s vital to know your audience. Who will see your event promotions? How does your target audience interact with technology? These are the types of question you may wish to consider. The latest World Internet Project New Zealand report came out this May, so what better time to talk about our relationship with the internet?
Who uses the internet?
More than 9 in 10 Kiwis have internet access, which means there’s a good chance your target audience is online. But let’s break it down further – exactly who uses the internet in New Zealand?
More than 97% of those under 65 use the internet. This is great news to most people promoting events online and using online bookings. However, you might want to explore further if your target audience is over 65 (we look at specifics later on in this post).
Men and women under 65 have very similar internet connectivity rates. In the 65+ age group, however, more men than women use the internet. No matter which gender your event is targeting, they’re probably online.
NZ Europeans and Asians both have high levels of internet connectivity. In comparison, Māori are slightly less likely and Pasifika much less likely to use the internet. 
For those under 40, NZ Europeans and Asians use the internet in equally high proportions, with Māori using it slightly less, followed by Pasifika.
For those over 40, Asians use the internet the most. This is followed by NZ Europeans, Māori, and Pasifika, although these three groups use it at similar rates to each other. 
If you’re targeting a specific ethnic group for your event, it’ll be worth considering the age of your target audience and how likely they are to be online. For example, if you’re targeting older Māori or Pasifika, you might boost your offline media and include telephone bookings to increase accessibility for your audience. If you’re targeting younger Māori or Pasifika, though, you still have a good chance of reaching most of them online.
Household income
Kiwis with higher household incomes (e.g. $100k+) are slightly more likely to use the internet than those with lower household incomes (e.g. <$35k). This is particularly obvious for the 30-44 and 60+ age groups, where there is a significant difference in internet use between those with low incomes and those with higher incomes. If your target audience has a higher income, they’re slightly more likely to be online than those with lower incomes.
In Auckland, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, and Taranaki, more than 95% connect to the internet, so there’s a good chance your target audience is online. On the other hand, in Manawatu-Wanganui and Marlborough, less than 90% use the internet, so there’s a slightly smaller chance of your customers being online.
It’s also important to consider whether your target audience is urban or rural, because that affects how they access the internet. Kiwis in urban areas are more likely to use mobile data, while those in rural areas are more likely to connect to the internet at their home, their friend’s or a neighbour’s home, their work or place of study, public Wi-Fi hotspots, or internet cafés and libraries. In rural areas, 75-80% have some sort of broadband connection at home, but urban Kiwis are more likely than those in rural areas to have ultra-fast broadband.
Who doesn’t use the internet?
One in 10 Kiwis aged 65-74 don’t use the internet. Neither do a quarter of those aged 75-84, or half of those over 85. It’s clearly a generalisation to say older people don’t use the internet, but you might want to offer the option of telephone bookings as well as online bookings if Gold Card holders are your target audience.

An article by Clodagh O'Carroll
Clodagh O’Carroll is about to graduate with a Bachelor of Communication Studies. Her special interests are public relations, writing, and media studies. She also has an interest in non-profit organisations.

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