In business, knowing your Millennials is as important as knowing your ABC’s in kindergarten. Failing to master this skill is simply not an option.
It’s a big task, getting to know 83.7 million Americans. And it’s complicated by the fact that the era of the Millennial is also the era of fractured information and communications. Baby Boomers grew up with three commercial TV networks and perhaps a handful of local channels. Millennials grew up with YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, which invite anybody and everybody to be a broadcaster or a publisher.
Another complication: Millennials are the second-most diverse generation of Americans, ever – exceeded only by those born after 2000, the post-Millennial Generation Z.
To get some big-picture insights, let’s run some statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 population estimates.
- The Bureau defines Millennials as people born between 1982 and 2000 – that is, Americans who will celebrate their 17th to 35th birthdays in 2017.
- The 83.7 million Millennials, many of whom have entered their prime spending years, outnumber the 75.4 million Baby Boomers – most of whom are beyond or on the verge of turning 60.
- 44.5% of Millennials identify as what are commonly understood to be minorities, rather than as what the Census Bureau calls “non-Hispanic whites.”
- In the post-Millennial generation, ages 15 and under, 49% are minorities – and that percentage is likely to grow by 2019, when Gen Z will finish being born. Z-ers who arrived on the scene from 2010 to 2014 are 50.2% minorities.
- The key insight for market research is that it absolutely must gain a diverse understanding of these unprecedentedly diverse generations. Wholesale generalizing won’t do for businesses striving to realize real success.
The one useful, generation-defining generality to be drawn about Millennials and Gen Z is that if you look at their hands you’ll see a smartphone. More than 80% of Millennials have them, according to the Pew Research Center, and the number rises to 86% for Millennials under 30.
True-mobile research lets you respond to that core fact about Millennials. It harmonizes the research experience with the Millennial and post-Millennial insistence on smartphone experiences that hold their interest and provide rewarding encounters with smoothly-functioning technology. There’s just one technical concept you need to understand before you start sending surveys to Millennials, and that’s the difference between mobile apps and the mobile web.
- In true-mobile surveys, the experience takes place entirely within an app, from push notification through completion. The survey loads instantly in a respondent's phone, eliminating the need for an uninterrupted internet connection to receive and answer questions.
- Online surveys that mobile respondents access via the mobile web require cumbersome e-mail notifications, followed by an even more cumbersome back-and-forth exchange between the website that houses the survey and the respondent's smartphone. It's a recipe for slow performance, frustrated respondents, disengagement, and suspect data.
- It’s the elegance and smoothness of the app experience that accounts for the fact that smartphone users now spend more than three hours a day with apps, and just over 20 minutes, on average, using their phones’ web browsers, according to Flurry Analytics.
- If you go looking for Millennials where they are – on their smartphone apps – your chances of finding the numbers and demographic quotas you need will soar.
Click here for MFour panel demographics that show just who you’ll reach when you reach out to more than a million active members who use Surveys on the Go® – the nation’s only true-mobile research app.
A fast and cost-efficient way to explore true-mobile research is to try MFourDIY™ – the only app-centered, true-mobile DIY alternative. For details, please visit mfourdiy.com or contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.