Every generational group is analyzed and studied so marketers know how to target different demographics. As technology moves at the speed of light, many are looking at how Millennials are different from Baby Boomers when it comes to mobile devices and other technology such as laptops versus the smartphone and what does that really mean when selling to groups born a few decades apart.
Neustar did a study of 1200 shoppers (who spent at least $250 online, purchased …at least four times annually and owned smartphones) to ascertain how Millennials’ shopping preferences were different from those of Baby Boomers using mobile devices as the catalyst.
Considering the wide divide between the age groups of the two generations and the cultural differences that comes with such an age difference, the one thing Neustar did find out is that marketers often underestimate how much technology use and knowledge Baby Boomers actually use. As a matter of fact, Baby Boomers use technology, but in different ways. It is important for companies and marketing professionals to understand how different demographics interact online to develop any effective brand management or social media marketing strategy.
Here are a few findings as it pertains to mobile phone usage:
- Recent research suggests that mobile email “opens” have surpassed desktops for the first time, according to Neustar and that smartphones will eventually out-purchase laptops. This is true with both Millennials and Baby Boomers. Neustar also reported that shoppers over 55 plan to clip on “more mobile” ads on smartphones this year – more than any other year.
- Research also indicates that all groups will increase mobile activity over the next few years but the big difference is that younger shoppers are likely to view retail advertising. In addition, Neustar stated that Millennials are three times more likely to use social media on a device –than Baby Boomers — 33% versus 11%.
Overall, Millennials and Boomers are mad for their mobile phones. What makes the two groups very different is how mobile devices are being used. As stated previously, social media is the main driver for Millennials, according to Neustar.
- 46% of Millennials surveyed said social media ads are extremely/somewhat influential in getting them to begin researching a product/retailer
- 33% of Millennials spend over 11 hours per week using social media on mobile devices
- 59% say social media advertising prompts them to begin researching a product or retailer
- 52% say social media advertising influences their decision to purchase a product
Mobile vs. Desktop:
Despite everyone’s seeming dependency on mobile devices – both boomers and Millennials tend to prefer the laptop overall.
“The perception that Boomers aren’t technically savvy just isn’t accurate and marketers are looking closer at what behavior drives different device uses. Boomers may prefer their desktop device for viewing ads but when it comes to redeeming a coupon they will also use their mobile device,” Rosner said.
In addition, research found that “Boomers are slightly more reliable consumers because their behaviors are more predictable,” Rosner said, adding that “marketers that understand how Boomers research products and make decisions along the consumer journey will win…A one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work when implementing cross-device campaigns.”
Privacy regarding location
Neustar looked at the privacy issue as another way to target various generations. Neustar asked consumers of varying ages how comfortable people were in disclosing their locations. This information can be very important for marketers looking at different ways to target their shoppers via geography.
Research found that Millennials were far more eager to give out their location then boomers. Neustar said that the majority of Boomers are “somewhat comfortable” (36%) and “neutral” (23%) about sharing their location, while the majority of Millennials are “very comfortable” with it.