Generational differences that digital marketers must understand

According to a survey conducted in Great Britain by YouGov, younger generations are willing to share their personal information with brands: as long as they can get something out of it.

Commissioned by Epiphany, the survey involved 2,029 people over 18. You can read the full survey here: “Understanding Consumer Behaviour”.

The survey revealed, for instance, that 24% of consumers aged between 18 and 24 consider social media a fundamental search tool for gathering information about what to buy. (Contrast this with 63% of people over 55 who think social media is of no use at all during the pre-purchase process.) Read it in Italian.

On the subject of social media, advertising on Facebook seems to be the most effective: about one fifth of interviewees declared they clicked on a Facebook ad at least once every three months.  Judging by the findings above, it’s not surprising to find out that the percentage reaches 35% amongst 18-24 year olds.

What’s more: 28% of the interviewees aged between 25 and 34 use videos, especially YouTube videos, to collect more information about products. This data tells brands that engaging users with useful and visually appealing content, such as tutorials, is crucial.

It is also worth pointing out that 55% of people aged between 18 and 24 watch videos on their mobile phones, whereas only 8% of over 55s do so.

This information is not only fundamental for e-retailers. It also applies to brick-and-mortar stores on the high street: 24% of the interviewees stated they would rather make their purchases in-store, maybe in a local shop, after seeing an online ad about a brand.

Smartphones play a critical role in this scenario. 36% of the interviewees use their phones to shop online; peaking at 60% for the 25-36 age group. In fact, one third of this age group said they shop online using their phones at least once a day.

The survey also revealed that 28% of the interviewees use their smartphones to access online banking. Among people aged 25 this reaches 49%.

Differences between generations are particularly evident when it comes to personal data.

55% of consumers over 55 years old aren’t willing to be monitored and targeted by advertisers when surfing the net. This decreases to 43% in the 25-34 age group. 19% of people aged 18-24 are willing to share their personal data in exchange for better and more accurate search results, against only 5% of over 55s.

Therefore, in an ever more complex digital market, marketers must properly interpret the behavior of different consumer groups. To do so, though, they first need to explore customers’ experience and their motivations.

Would you share your personal data in exchange for a more tailored purchase experience? I would like to get your comments. Tweet @agostinellialdo.

If you have liked this post, you should read  What European marketers should know about the digital market in 2017