Millennials might be the most social generation we’ve known, but they are still finding their information the semi-old-fashioned way: via search engines.
According to a survey of more than 1,000 adult Millennials in the U.S., by Telefonica, 57% of them use search engines to find information on restaurants, nightlife, entertainment and services. Nearly as many (52%), however, said they also use social media as well.
“We also found that the Internet, overall, is still very often the preferred source of information versus social media,” Richard Poston, Telefonica Europe’s director of corporate affairs, tells Marketing Daily. “For example, in the U.S., Millennials say the Internet is the best source for in-depth coverage of a social issue (50%), entertainment (47%) and a developing news story or crisis (45%). This compares to only 14% who say social media is the best source for coverage of a social issue, 9% for entertainment, and 10% for a developing news story.”
Millennials have also come to see the daily deal Web sites as a part of their own daily lives, with nearly a quarter (24%) of them having used one in the past six months. About a fifth (22%) use peer-reviewed Web sites for information, while 19% visit critic-reviewed Web sites. A similar number (18%) use e-mails from companies or brands for information.
“We can’t really speculate whether Millennials view these sources as one in the same, but we did also find that email is still the top activity U.S. Millennials participate in online (88%), followed by surfing Web sites (81%), using social media (80%), and shopping (74%),” Poston says.
Regardless of what Millennials may be doing online, marketers that are trying to reach them need to remember the most important element in any campaign is relevance, says Glen Hartman, global managing director of digital consulting for Accenture. For all the talk of one-to-one or one-to-many communications, an ad that isn’t relevant will not have any impact, he says.
Although the Telefonica survey suggests Millennials are as much about using other forms of communication, their main communication is still mobile, Hartman says. Plus, they don’t differentiate between the forms of communication (email vs. search vs. mobile) as the survey might suggest.
“It’s part of a more connected,
multi-device and multichannel experience that they have, as opposed to ‘I’m just going to sign up for your e-mail. Send me an offer and I’ll make a purchase,’” Hartman
says. “They’re using it as one component of an overall experience.”
"Young people eating and looking at smartphone" photo from Shutterstock.