May 8th, 2014 by Maria Minsker

Earlier this week, global customer experience management provider SDL released the findings from a study tasked with evaluating how millennials interact with brands and marketing campaigns. The report–the second in a series of five–zeroes in on a couple of interesting statistics, or “truths,” to use SDL’s wording. But how true are these truths? Here’s this millennial’s take:

Truth 1

More than 40 percent of millennials in the U.S. could identify the digital data brands are using to track their behaviors, setting the expectation that marketing touch points should be personalized, contextual and timely. 

In My Opinion:

This really depends on the type of activity specific millennials engage in online. Heavy online shoppers for example, might be more aware of specific practices like retargeting, considering the fact that once you put a pair of shoes in your cart on a Web site, an ad for that pair of shoes will follow you around until you start wondering why you even wear shoes in the first place. Still, I would agree that most millennials are starting to pick up on some tricks of the trade and understand how tools like Social Signin are about much more than just convenience.

Truth 2

Over half of the respondents in the U.S. (52 percent) have no issue with brands using data to provide a better customer experience.

In My Opinion:

This one goes hand in with…

Truth 3

Globally, millennials had drastically different responses, with only 37 percent of UK Millennials ranking “privacy over purchases” and an even smaller amount–13 percent–agreed in the Netherlands.  These findings indicate that personal data should dictate how a brand interacts with millennials if they hope to establish meaningful relationships. 

In My Opinion:

Right on point. I’m a firm believer in only sharing a limited amount of personal information online, but subscribe to the notion that if I’m willing to share my data with a brand, that brand should be using it to deliver an awesome customer experience. I’ve heard peers complain that brands only strive to deliver great experiences so they can “make more money,” and while that’s true to an extent, it’s a pretty naive way to look at brand-consumer interactions. In the Age of the Customer, brands want to have relationships with their customers. Scratch that, they need to have relationships with their customers. While superficial personalization is on its way out, deeply personalized experiences that take place in real time and on an omnichannel scale are definitely in. Given the popularity of social media among millennials, brands worry more about reputation and longevity than they do about making a few bucks off a simple transaction, and that, from a consumer standpoint, is a really exciting development.

Truth 4

Sixty percent of U.S. millennials will provide more personal data to a company they trust. If brands are using tracked information to better the customer experience, consumers will see how the data is being used and ultimately begin to trust the motives of the brand – fostering future engagements and ultimately purchases. 

In My Opinion

Couldn’t be truer. Have you used a credit card at Target lately? I know I haven’t…

Truth 5

Forty six percent of millennials, globally, are willing to provide more data to businesses if it meant they weren’t forced to entertain offers that aren’t relevant. 

In My Opinion

To quote Steve Jobs, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Though I, like most consumers, find myself getting annoyed at the slew of unsolicited emails. Just this morning, I received one promoting a sale on men’s socks at a store I visited once with my dad over two years ago. They must have asked for an email address and he gave them mine, so here I am, two years later, with a 15% off coupon for silk socks. Still, can you blame them for trying? I (sort of) made a purchase there once before, so why wouldn’t I do it again? Jobs was right–sometimes customers don’t know what they want until you show it them and now that I think about it, a fun pair of fancy socks might make a cute Father’s Day gift. Ok, so maybe not, but I think you get my point.

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