CMI Dives Deep Into Digital Lives of University Students

2011-12-22 21:04 1122

BEIJING, December 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Campus Marketing Institute (CMI) and GroupM Knowledge released the results of a research study on university students' digital life today, to understand 90s' students' digital behavior and consumption habits.

Today, there are 2,493 universities and colleges in China with more than 29 million universities students born after 1990. They are living in the fastest developing era of China with better living conditions than ever before. From 2012, the first group of 90s' university students will graduate and step into the society. How will they influence the market as economic-independent consumers? This is still an unexplored area for marketing professionals.

Dr. Cynthia Shen, President of CMI, Communication Professor of PKU of China pointed out, "This is not simply another generation of growth, but the real interactive generation coming over. The 90s' growth means the thorough change of network culture and both forms and contents of marketing communication. They are more individual and self-conscious than the 80s', and are rationally looking for what they really want. Understanding the 90s' demands, behavior and insight will surely be a tough task for the marketing and communication industries now and into the future."

Lucy Zhang, Futures Director, GroupM Knowledge, China commented, "The 90s' generation lives and has grown up in the digital era. Understanding their digital behavior will not only show brands information like consumption habits or brand preferences, but even give us a preview of digital trends. Their favorites today will be considered mainstream in the future."

This research was conducted in eight tier 1 and tier 2 cities in China (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Shenyang, Xi'an and Zhengzhou), collecting data from 1,600 university students from 33 universities aged from 17-21. 50 face-to-face interviews form the qualitative section, bringing the total sample size to 1,650. The report has three parts, respectively paraphrasing university students' lifestyle, values, media consumption and digital behavior.

According to the report, university students spend, on average, over 20% of their monthly living allowance on online shopping. 86% of students have Internet access on their mobile phones. The average monthly expenditure on mobile phones is RMB 64. Other findings include:

1. Highly dependent on the Internet

University students are living a "connected" life, meaning that they are constantly connected to the Internet anytime and anywhere. 75% of them have more than three years of Internet experience and spend 18% of their daily time online, while Chinese city residents only spend 13% on average. The Internet has become their life rather than a communicative tool. Senior students turn out to be more dependent on the Internet with a more sophisticated usage of Internet tools. Chatting, Weibo and SNS are the top 3 most popular online activities among university students.

2. Being the core target of mobile marketing, university students are a crucial target audience for its development.

While 79% and 40% of university students use a notebook and desktop PC respectively, 86% of them access the Internet via their mobile phones, compared to a lower rate of 66% among all Chinese netizens. Economically independent after entering society, they will be the core target audience of mobile marketers. Their preferences would therefore greatly influence mobile marketing's content, format and interactivity.

3. Main force of E-commerce

52% of university students love online shopping, which is much higher than the general rate of 20% among Chinese netizens. What is most impressive is that the average student's E-commerce expenditure reaches RMB 171, taking up over 20% of their monthly spending. "Cheaper price", "more choice" and "saving time" are the top 3 motivations of their online shopping. Top 3 categories are clothing and shoes, books, and digital devices. As part of their "connected" life, E-commerce is not only a purchase platform, but an adaptation of their material life to their digital life.

About CMI (Campus Marketing Institute)

Established in 2008, CMI (Campus Marketing Institute) aims to build up databases for Chinese mainstream young consumers and focuses on the research of campus marketing in China. Through close cooperation with campuses and enterprises, CMI takes an extensively high quality campus database as the basis for its market research, and seeks a perfect match between brand value and consumer insights.

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About Fresh Media

A pioneer of campus marketing in China and founded in 2004, Fresh Media has always been dedicated to "influencing and promoting the life and development of the younger generations in China." So far, it has established four service sectors including campus media, brand communication, channel innovation and campus recruitment, as well as a multi-media platform covering nationwide colleges and universities.

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Media contact:

Lv Qian
Ph: +86 10 85961205-810

About GroupM China

GroupM is the global number one media investment management group. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare.

GroupM employs more than 1,500 people in eight cities across China. With total media billings in excess of USD 4 billion (RECMA: 2010 Definitive), GroupM is China's top media communications group and the industry's biggest investor in syndicated and proprietary media research and optimization tool development. Visit for more information.

About GroupM Knowledge

GroupM Knowledge is GroupM's think tank and knowledge management arm in China. This unit is responsible for industry-wide thoughts leadership research, exploring issues affecting the media industry in China; working with syndicated research suppliers, and managing the GroupM's proprietary tools, research and systems. Visit for more information.

Media contact:

Diana Wang
Ph: +86 21 23077703

Source: CMI