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: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

It's a pretty interesting article to read. I will learn more about this company later.

Dan Bullock

40 staff and 1000 contracts affected as foodora closes its Australian operations

Read more

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in