Gen Z Is Even More Diverse than Millennials, and it Takes a Mobile Research  App To Reach Them

Posted by MFour on Feb 11, 2019 1:55:56 PM

Pew Research Center’s recently published series of deep dives into the demographic characteristics and social views of American Post-Millennials (also commonly known as Gen Z) is worth a look for consumer insights professionals. With the oldest Gen Zers moving into post-adolescence, they most certainly are on marketers’ and market researchers’ radar as a key cohort of consumers whose characteristics, lifestyles and attitudes demand understanding right now and on into the future. Among other things, Pew notes, this is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history.

The oldest Post-Millennials, who are turning 22 this year, are getting college educations and/or have begun to enter the work force.  Also, the Gen Z multitudes who are still in their childhood are driving a great deal of purchasing by their Millennial (ages 23 to 38) and Gen X (39 to 54) parents. Pew’s studies continue to compile data documenting similarities and differences between these generations.

The defining demographic reality of the late 2010s, in which the oldest Gen Zers and the youngest Millennials are coming into their own as young, independent consumers, is the dominance of smartphones as the pervasive tool consumers of all ages use to learn about products and services, buy products and services, and express and widely circulate their opinions about products and services.

But almost incredibly, only 54% of consumer insights professionals who responded to GreenBook’s most recent GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) report said they are using “mobile first” surveys to obtain consumer data. What’s worse, “mobile first” is not the kind of mobile research the industry should embrace. It fails to reach consumers in their true comfort zone, which is the mobile app. As eMarketer has documented, mobile consumers prefer the app environment by six to one over accessing and exchanging information on the mobile web,” which is where “mobile first” research takes place.

Although the GRIT report barely mentions mobile-app research, forward-looking marketing and consumer insights professionals at major brands, market research firms and advertising agencies are increasingly aware of and on board with the mobile-app research methodology. They recognize the speed, timeliness and quality of data collected from a first-party consumer panel of mobile app-users, and can see that it’s the pathway to research success in the Smartphone Era.

Scores of major brands and firms partner with MFour, often with the specific aim of reaching Millennial and Post-Millennial consumers, the leading adopters of mobile app activites (although Generation X and Baby Boomers are also rapidly making up any generational gaps in mobile app use).

Look at this visualization of MFour’s panel characteristics and judge for yourself the kind of coverage and engagement you can expect when you need to reach consumers in the key 18- to 49-year-old age groups. Pew notes that Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history – 52% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 14% African-American, 6% Asian and 4% other.  When it comes to consumer panel diversity across Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z, MFour an Surveys On The Go®are already there.

In the 2010s it has become a watchword among most consumer insights professionals that Millennials, Hispanics and African-Americans are “hard to reach” for market research. But if you’re smart enough to connect with them through an advanced mobile research app, that simply isn’t so.

Topics: african americans, millennials, market research, Gen Z, hispanic consumers, consumer panel, mobile consumer panel, mobile data, mobile consumers, Pew Research Center, demographic representation

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

1,000-Millennial Study Explores Entertainment Consumption 

Posted by admin on Sep 19, 2016 7:58:21 PM




This is the first report in MFour’s Millennial Insights Project, an in-depth look at the preferences and behaviors of 1,000 American consumers, ages 18 to 36. Today’s report highlights results and findings on Entertainment.


We’ll follow with reports on Money & Investing (Sept. 27) and Technology & Lifestyles (Oct. 4).


We recruited and surveyed respondents through Surveys on the Go®, MFour’s all-mobile, app-based research technology and methodology, which reaches more than one million active panelists. The study collected 1,000 demographically representative, validated responses within two hours of launch on Sept. 10, 2016. Length of interview was approximately 15 minutes. Respondents were segmented by sex, race and ethnicity, type of work, income and age. We divided our Millennial subjects into three six- or seven-year age brackets.


Here are five insights we found interesting:


Streaming is King: Streamed programming is the most frequent viewing choice for 58% of Millennials – more than double the 28% who most often watch cable or satellite TV. There’s a substantial drop-off for cable/satellite viewing among Millennials who haven’t yet turned 30. Only 18.5% of this younger group say cable/satellite TV is their first choice, compared to 37% of Millennials ages 30 to 36. 78% of all Millennials consider a paid streaming platform their first or second choice when watching television, with 76% saying they are streaming more from paid services than they did a year ago. But most Millennials haven’t cut the cord on cable entirely: 64% of those who no longer live with a parent still subscribe to cable or satellite TV.


Binge Watching is Huge: By nearly four to one (78% to 22%), Millennials prefer a television series to be released all at once, rather than having to wait for a weekly episode over the course of a season. And 68% said they had binged on TV during the past month; 53% during the previous week. Across every grouping – sex, age bracket, race-ethnicity, and income level – U.S. Millennials are united in their eagerness to binge on TV shows.


Music Downloads are Going Mobile: More than half of Millennials (56%) said they had downloaded music to a mobile device within the past month, surpassing the 43% who’d downloaded tunes to a desktop or laptop. African Americans were especially active downloaders, with 69% saying they’d downloaded music straight to their mobile in the past month, and 53% downloading to a PC. Downloads for Caucasians were 55% mobile and 38% PC; Hispanics/Latinos went 57% for mobile and 46% for PCs.


Opting Out of Going Out: Fewer than half of Millennials (43%) said they had been to a movie theater in the past month, and 17.5% had been to a live concert. 40.8% hadn’t been to a live concert in the last 6 months, and an additional 15% had never experienced a concert.


Viewing on Smartphones is 2nd Only to TV: 91% of Millennials said they access entertainment on a television screen, with mobile phones second at 73%. Desktops and laptops were third at 63%, and 47% watch or listen on tablets. The youngest Millennials, ages 18 to 24, show  a preference for watching on smartphones – 74%, vs.  69% for respondents 25 and older. There’s also an intra-generational difference for TV screens, used by 89% of the youngest group and 93% of 25 and overs.


For a look at our entire Millennials survey, visit:


Username: MillennialCaseStudy

Password: MFourMillennials


MethodologyUsing MFourDIY, the market research industry’s first all-mobile, do-it-yourself platform for designing and carrying out studies, MFour fielded a 30-question survey on Sept. 10 to Millennials who make up about 60% of its million-member active panel, all of whom participate in research via the Surveys on the Go® app for smartphones and tablets. Fielding time was less than two hours for 1,000 validated responses.


Responses reflected U.S. Millennials’ demographic profile: 50% male, 50% female; 56% Caucasian, 19% Hispanic/Latino, 14% African American/Black, 5% Asian, 1% each for Middle Eastern, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans/Alaskans; 3% Other. Age brackets were 18-24 (36%), 25-29 (31%) and 30-36 (33%). The study also segmented respondents by whether they were parents of children under 18, their type of work (full-time blue collar and white collar, part-time, unemployed), and their income (six brackets from $25,000 or less to $100,000 or more).

Topics: MFour Mobile Research, mobile insights, african americans, latinos, News, MFour Blog, millennial insights project, millennials, hard to reach

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