Millennials love their technology.
But with any group or demographic, there are always the early adopters and Millennials are no exception. Experian Marketing Services has found that 52 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds rank above – or far above – the average rate in the early adoption of new technology. These early adopters like what’s new and are willing to pay (almost) any price for it, according to a blog trumpeting the release of Experian’s 2013 Digital Marketer Report.
If there’s one word I can use to describe my generation, it’s “changeable.” Self-admittedly, we are a generation that grew up with PCs and Macs. Beepers were cool before there ever was an iPhone or Android. And “You’ve Got Mail” on AOL was the late nineties’ equivalent of the push notification, just more (this is debatable) annoying. In other words, we’ve gotten used to a lot before we ever got used to Google Apps or the modern-day Internet ecosystem.
My generation can be a marketer’s best dream or their worst nightmare, depending on how “changeable” they like their target audience to be. On the plus side, we like new things. We’re willing to experiment. On the down side, you never know what this generation will like, hate, love, or dismiss altogether, next. No one day is the same, either, so a movie on a tablet one day might not be as attractive an option the next. There are three key behaviors marketers and advertisers should be aware of: Millennials are much more apt to visit a social site before a retail site. They’re less likely to visit a rewards site or even read email before going to a retail site. And, they’re more likely to look at “fashion content and portal sites” before heading straight to a retail site.
Interesting stat: Experian found that early-adopter Millennials spend, on average, 14 percent more time engaged on their mobile devices than the average Millennial. They’re 20 percent more likely to use a tablet device, and their top 3 mobile activities are instant messaging or chatting, reading media, and listening to music (beating out email, streaming video, and visiting Websites, mind you.)
According to Adobe’s latest Digital Index, tablet users spend on average 54 percent more for each online purchase than smartphone users and 19 percent more than desktop or laptop computer users. Couple that with the fact that a bulk of tablet users – Millennials – have, on average, $11,317 a year in discretionary income, as Experian counts it. That tells me there’s near-perfect alignment to reach a segment that’s not only willing to buy, but to go about buying in all new ways. Just don’t expect them to do it that way tomorrow.