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What is different about Millenials?

Anyone who spends any time with teenagers knows that their most important possession is their phone and it’s not very often it is even out of their hand! Research shows that this really is true. In a recent report, Marketing to Millenials by Comscore, it was found that 16-24 year olds, or Millenials, spend on average 96 hours a month online and a staggering 66 hours of those on their phone. They use their phone anywhere and everywhere, home, school, travelling and even in other people’s houses, to play games, connect with friends, listen to music, watch videos, send messages, surf the internet or watch TV.

This is quite different from other age groups who still use a laptop or tablet to do these things. Data from the Ofcom digital tracker shows that 41% of 16-24s said their smartphone was their most important device to connect to the internet. In comparison using tablets was only 11% and laptops 33%. Other age groups painted a different picture with most 35-54 (42%) and 55+ (44%) still using a laptop as their main device to connect to the internet.

A graph showing which devices each generation finds most useful

What does this mean for Marketers?

Millenials are early adopters. This age group lead technology, where they go others will follow. Take for example Snapchat, an app that 16-24s took to early in June 2013. It accounts for 28% of all daily photo uploads but by November this had grown to 49%, a sign that more than just this age group were using it. Big brands have now taken to Snapchat and Snapchat have now added the ability to upload video and Instant Messaging. A clear example of how early adopters have brought something in to the main stream.

Early adopters actively use apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Spotify, Twitter and You Tube. So it means a marketer knows where they are and subsequently are easier to target. This can be done by paid campaigns or viral ones and can be highly successful, like the recent movie “Fault in our Stars” whose trailer is the most ‘liked’ in YouTube’s history, providing the film makers with a huge boost before the film even gets in the cinema.

It therefore also means that 16-24s are easier to track and quantify. Their behaviour patterns can be observed, not just by cookies but through data from surveys, downloads etc . allowing marketers a look into the social and cultural behaviour of teenagers as never before.

An entire industry has built up around this age group. Whether that is companies selling to them or companies protecting them, like the Family Innovation Zone.

Ultimately Millenials are the barometer for future trends and where they go technology wise others follow. So for marketers it is a case of watch this space!

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