#GenerationTech: Millennials & Technology

Millennials — the most talked about generation for the past several years and likely for the next to come. As digital natives, they are tech-savvy, connected, and are making a significant impact on our world.

Millennials are a diverse consumer segment born from 1981 to 1995, totaling over 80 million people within the U.S. population and beginning to hit their stride within their adulthood years. As such, they now have the economic power to back their strong consumer opinions and as “Tech” heads of household, they influence their older and younger generational cohorts regarding technology adoption and usage.

Annalect conducted a 6-month+ study, #GenerationTech: Millennials & Technology, focusing on Millennials and technology. Our research explored the role of technology within this segment’s life as it relates to their brand relationships, media and content choices, commerce experiences, and their perceptions about marketing. In line with the research focus, we harnessed the power of the very technology that Millennials use in their daily lives as our method for engaging them.

Specifically, our study explored:

  • How do Millennials conceptualize technology and the role that it plays within their lives?
  • How does technology impact content choices and how this segment engages with content?
  • What are Millennials’ expectations of technology and how does this impact their relationships with brands?

Some highlights of our key findings:

  • Democratization through technology – From a macro-level perspective, technology provides Millennials with a digital democracy; while they recognize it is not a perfect democracy, they feel that technology provides them with freedom, empowerment and equality across all aspects of their lives
  • Leveraging tech to enhance media choices – Technology offers Millennials a more robust and personalized media experience, whether through user-generated content (UGC), streaming services or apps, Millennials have a fuller media menu and are empowered to become part of the program content
  • Brand name alone will not suffice – The technology a brand uses is just as important as the brand’s name when it comes to Millennials’ perceptions of brands and purchase considerations; they have specific expectations of how brands should use technology to build stronger consumer relationships
  • Phases of the commerce process influence the devices used – The smartphone is the most used and preferred device for all aspects of the shopping process, except when it comes to the actual purchase – Millennials prefer the computer across all product/service categories

Methodology

Through a combined qualitative/quantitative approach, we gained a rich understanding of Millennials from multiple vantage points.

Monthly national quantitative surveys, which began in April through September 2014, were conducted on a smartphone among 3,006 Millennials, age 19-33, with representative demographics to the U.S. census.

Additionally, continuous qualitative work began in March through September 2014, among a total of 33 Millennials. Using a multi-media approach, these same participants were engaged in various activities, such as blogs, Pinterest and Instagram exercises, and one-on-one interviews via Google+ Hangouts through the choice of their mobile devices or PCs.

This study was also featured in a Wall Street Journal CMO article, click here to check it out!

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