SYDNEY: Marketers seeking to engage Australian consumers must meet the needs of "progressive" shoppers and their peers with a more traditional outlook, a study has argued.

KPMG, the business services provider, and Nine Rewards, the panel firm, surveyed over 2,000 adults, and reported highly distinctive groups of customers are now emerging.

"There are two Australias: the edgy, the connected and the modern-lifestyle-inclined - and then there are the conservatives," Bernard Salt, a partner at KPMG, told Switzer.

Some 91% of participants currently use the web, with 92% of this audience sending email, 69% on Facebook, 34% utilising Skype, 25% accessing Microsoft's MSN platform, and 11% entering enquiries via Google's search engine.

Elsewhere, the research found a greater share of respondents aged 45 years old or more owned several credit cards when compared with 18-24 year olds.

More broadly, 15% of 25-29 year olds take at least three holidays annually, the same total as recorded by their counterparts aged 60 years old-plus, and ahead of the 11% national average.

Although 29% of the sample ate out a minimum of once a week, contributors over 40 years of age or who had children posted considerably lower scores in this area.

"Those with young and dependent children tend not to eat out or to have holidays," said Salt. "This is the time in life when households are most likely to have a series of credit cards."

Among the households polled, 5% boasted combined annual earnings topping A$200,000 per year, and these residences also contained the highest proportion of children aged 18-24 still living at home.

"The survey possibly reveals why 18-24 year olds are so keen to stay in the family home: why they move out, they transition from the richest households in Australia to the poorest," Salt said.

Another 11% of households collected annual earnings of less than A$30,000, according to the study.

In concluding, the KPMG report stated four key factors influenced overall levels of happiness: being free from debt, not being overweight, regular exercise and strong friendships.

Data sourced from Switzer; additional content by Warc staff