Mobile News Mix

Census Trends Spell Bad News for Online Market Research

Posted by MFour on Jun 28, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Census Diversity Blog 25Jun18

Are you one of the many marketing and consumer insights professionals who have doubts whether they're getting good, representative data needed to understand Hispanics, African Americans, Millennials and Gen Z? Here's something new from the U.S. Census Bureau that shows how urgent it is that you stop subscribing to the common belief that certain groups are just "hard to reach."

“Population Continues To Become More Diverse,” is one of the section headlines in a new Census Bureau report that updates the U.S. population count and its demographic makeup.

The report spells more trouble for brands that can't get on top of understanding Hispanics, African Americans, and the Millennial and Gen Z generations that are the most diverse in U.S. history.

The reason they seem "hard to reach" is straightforward: Hispanics, African Americans, Millennials and Gen Z all have a strong preference for their smartphones over desktops and laptops when it comes to accessing, creating and sharing information. Research that doesn't get the mobile dimension right will inevitably suffer a data disconnect that you simply can no longer afford.  

These key figures from the new Census Bureau estimates tell the story:

  • The  U.S. Hispanic population grew 2.1% between 2016 and 2017, to 58.9 million. Hispanics now make up 18% of America’s nearly 326 million inhabitants.
  • African Americans’ numbers, grew 1.2%, to 47.4 million. They now account for 14.6% of the U.S. population.
  • People of Asian descent now make up nearly 7% of the population, after a 3.1% increase. 
  • While whites remain the biggest population group,  at 197.8 million, their numbers actually declined .02% from the previous year.
  • Millennials (now ages 22 to 37) make up 22% of the population and are coming into their own as the key drivers of U.S. consumption. If market researchers can’t find a way to reach them, there will be gaping holes in their ability to  understand the consumer cohort that carries the most weight.
  • Gen Z – newborns to age 21 – make up nearly 28% of the population, and they’re even more smartphone-focused than Millennials.
The takeaway from these population trends is that marketers and consumer insights professionals need to get mobile data right, because the groups whose numbers and buying power are growing are precisely the people who are considered “hard to reach” with traditional online surveys. After a half-decade or more in which too many researchers moved slowly on mobile, there's no more denying that it's the data source that all businesses and categories must get right. There’s no getting around the need to get mobile right. If you agree that it's crucial to step up to the state of the art in mobile consumer research, start by clicking here.

Topics: african americans, millennials, market research, Gen Z, sample quality, hispanic consumers

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