New report busts myths about millennials and their digital and social behaviour

New Millennial Index study by Redshift Research and and Bite also introduces five emerging digital personas in an effort to help marketers better engage with the younger generation of digital natives

A new report into the social and online habits of the millennial generation claims to undermine several popular myths about the digitally native generation, while introducing a new set of behavioural –based personas for marketers to consider.

The new Millennial Index of US and UK consumers between 17 and 31 years of age was produced by Redshift Research and communications agency, Bite, and sought to delve into the online behavioural motivators for the younger generation, as well as their use of social media platforms and different devices.

While most marketers believe millennials dedicate a large proportion of their time to social media, the report challenged the myth, pointing out only 41 per cent spend more than three hours a week on Facebook, while 43 per cent don’t use Twitter at all. Those who are online for longer periods of time claim not only to be involved in social activities, but also researching via work/study-related online forums and user groups.

The report found the average millennial spends 108 hours per year browsing the Internet for work or study, a figure nearly on par with time spent texting. In addition, 77 hours a year are devoted to reading news online, compared with 71 hours on Twitter and 36 hours looking at celebrity gossip.

While mobile connectivity is becoming increasingly pervasive, the study reported 65 per cent of millennials spend more time accessing the Internet via a laptop or desktop PC than they do on newer devices. However, 52 per cent do watch streamed films or TV programs on mobile devices, and 39 per cent using video chat on their smartphone or tablet.

And while half of male millennials listed gaming as a hobby, 37 per cent of overall respondents ranked books as a popular pastime, and 61 per cent of female millennials are more likely to spend their time reading books.

The perception of millennials behaving the same digitally is also a fallacy. Redshift found consumers exhibit a diverse range of behaviours digitally and shouldn’t be treated as a homogenous group.

What is apparent is the rising popularity of visual-based interaction as part of the online experience. According to the report, 60 per cent of millennials are on YouTube at least an hour a week, and one in four spend more than three hours a week streaming film online.

“This shift to a more visual, video-based online culture will be an increasingly important consideration for marketers wanting to effectively engage with the millennial generation,” the report authors stated. In a sign of what’s motivating the next generation, 77 per cent of respondents said ‘determination’ is a secret to success, and 77 per cent believed it was ‘hard work’. Twenty-per cent also want to be successful entrepreneurs.

Why the new age of digital marketing is about intuition and engagement
Australians use up nearly a day a week online
Some teens may indeed be anti-Facebook

“Millennials are a generation that is growing up to favour a scientific and pragmatic approach to life,” the report authors claimed. “Millennials increasingly rebel against spin and instinctive or emotional arguments. Instead it is one in which rational opinions of perceived experts are highly regarded, where emotional appeals from non-experts are great with scepticism.

“This cynical view is also extended to traditional sources of news and information such as journalists and politicians, leading millennials to rely more on the views of their friends, peers and people they regard as experts.”

Based on its findings, Redshift and Bite have devised five emerging personas which they claim showcase the different aspirations and motives for these consumers. These are:

  • Digital Window shoppers (28 per cent) – less engaged than their peers, less likely to influence peer opinion. That said, their own consumer habits can be strongly influenced by what they see online.

  • Digital socialites (24 per cent) – highly social, active participants in online communities and social networks.

  • Dynamic media junkies (21 per cent) – immersed in a culture of dynamic media such as video clips, animation and streamed film/TV. They are also highly technically literate.

  • Casually engaged (16 per cent) – less engaged in the digital world compared to their peers; more likely to be unemployed or in low-paid jobs with less access to technology.

  • The emerging technocracy (11 per cent) – Born leaders, strongly engaged with the digital world and influencing a large number of their peers. They tend to be the highest earners and are twice as likely to own a business or hold senior management positions.

The Millennial Index was based on a survey of 2002 individuals in the US and US over August 2013 involved 144 questions.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook:

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

What happens when the 'market' becomes a 'customer'?

One of the insightful things that has been said to me recently came from an independent consultant working at a major FMCG client. He said: “The problem here is that we have some people who are world-class at marketing to the masses, but they haven’t got a clue about how to speak to a customer.”

3 Metrics to measure B2B content marketing ROI

Content marketing has become a key pillar for marketing departments of all sizes across the world. But how do you measure – and ultimately prove – the effectiveness of the time, money and energy spent on content marketing?

How global brands can connect on a local level

The dot-com boom allowed brands to easily access the global market. Thanks to this increased exposure and worldwide awareness, brands can no longer exist in a local bubble.

Dan Ratner

managing director, Uberbrand

Informative comments , I loved the info , Does anyone know if my assistant could get ahold of a blank 2011 IRS 8804 - Schedule A document...


Telstra unveils fresh digital content media services

Read more

So, the one thing I would say is .. the customer already has a voice, whether you wanted them to have one or not .. and they have a platf...

Paul Gilbert

Why digital strategy equals customer experience

Read more

Appliances online are doing a good job online, but they're still not giving customers a truly powerful online experience in my view. Wher...

Graham Howlett

Navigating the future of omni-channel retailing

Read more

For both businesses and marketers alike who want a digital marketing platform that supports data visualization, integrated analytics and ...


Adobe to bolster analytics capabilities of Marketing Cloud with Digital Analytix acquisition

Read more

Good Content is a crucial part in Marketing ROI. No doubt metrics like sharing & engagement, consumption, & lead generation &...


3 Metrics to measure B2B content marketing ROI - B2B marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in