A number of different industries have begun to focus their attention on the millennial generation in the past few years, which includes market research. As new millennial students enter the workforce, it’s crucial to understand how the millennial market researcher is conducting their research and where they are looking for the information they need.
Who are the millennials?
The bracket for generational groups changes, but for most, millennials are considered to be those who were born between 1977-1995. The term “millennial” has been used since the late 1980s, but has become increasingly popular since the early 2000s. The term has been interpreted in a number of different ways but, overall, the group is technology reliant, image-driven, multi-taskers, open to change, confident, information rich, hooked on social media, impatient, and adaptable.
According to Strauss and Howe, the seven core traits of millennials include:
- Self-worth – millennials have a tendency to believe that they are special to what they can offer to the world.
- Sheltered – protection for children has increased with the increased health and safety regulations, leaving this generation to have more sheltered lives than those before them.
- Belief – collectively, millennials tend to have a more positive outlook, with the belief that they can create important solutions for the problems around them.
- Team Players – millennials have been encouraged to work in groups through their education, community projects and sports. This has led them to feel the need for teams in the workplace.
- Low-Conflict – millennials have been less competitive than previous generations, creating less conflict.
- Hard Working – due to the increasingly competitive education systems, millennials have been encouraged to strive for higher goals and to get better grades. This has resulted in the need to plan for the future and take advantage of all opportunities.
- Achievement Driven – millennials are defined by their desire to achieve their goals, which has caused them to become more focused than other generations.
So what does this mean for marketing?
The millennials are considered a digitally dependent generation. They have changed the consumer market to be more connected, engaged, and more “hands-on” than ever before. Brands now interact with consumers through social media because of millennial engagement. This rapid growth between the digital and consumer culture has created a new standard for marketing and businesses around the world.
Aside from the sheer number of millennials, the key trait about this generational group is their familiarity with technology. Millennials were the first generation to grow up with the Internet, smartphones, and other technology. This connection with the digital world has brought us to the realization of why online market research is so important.
How does that reflect in market research?
Market research has always been the foundation for finding relevant business information for a company’s biggest needs. For millennials, this means finding information where they are most knowledgeable: the Internet.
In the past decade, market research has relied more on online communities to provide the information needed in terms of speed, insight and cost. The Internet is an indispensable resource for qualitative market research, providing a venue for controlled engagement with targeted demographics. Because of their interaction with social media and the Internet, millennial researchers are more apt to find this information.
With the different online survey products available, market researchers are able to collect data about all sorts of things at a faster and even cheaper rate. The shift to online data collection is not only fueled by the online communities of the millennials, but the millennial employees in the workplace.
The widespread adoption of the internet through all of our devices – computers, tablets, and smartphones – has revolutionized the way we can connect with consumers and their shopping habits. It’s easier to reach our target markets directly through these devices as landlines and traditional mail surveys fall short.
But, as the Internet and new technology emerge, it’s important for the millennial market researchers to remember the traditional methods. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, and other research methods have worked in the past, and still work today. Millennial researchers will need to use their knowledge of traditional research and the internet to create the right balance to gather the information necessary for their business needs.
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