Want Millennials' Info? Offer Something In Return

If at first you don’t succeed in getting Millennials to share their contact information, preferences and brand habits, try, try again. But offer something in return. 

According to new research from Mintel, 60% of Millennials are already willing to provide their details about their personal preferences and habits with marketers. But for 30% of those who initially balked at sharing the information, their minds changed after being offered a small incentive (such as a $10 gift card).

The message to marketers is clear. “If you get a 'no' the first time, it might be worthwhile to sweeten the pot,” Fiona O’Donnell, category manager, retail, multicultural, lifestyles and leisure at Mintel, tells Marketing Daily. “The value proposition is you don’t get something for nothing.”

The willingness to share more information is a result of changing attitudes about privacy. Millennials, according to the research, are much more likely to share wireless numbers and social media profiles than Baby Boomers, for instance. Millennials, O’Donnell says, rationalize such sharing by acknowledging that much of that information is already publicly available. 

“There’s a knowledge that anyone could put together all this [information] if they made the effort,” she says. “It’s treated as though unless someone can steal your identity, it’s [fair game].”

Obviously, there is information the Millennials are less likely to share, such as credit scores and Social Security numbers. However, Millennials are more willing to share credit scores than Baby Boomers (17% vs. 8%), perhaps reflecting a different definition of what should be private, O’Donnell says. 

“The idea of ‘What is privacy?’ has changed. If you’re willing to share it in one venue, it’s okay to share it in another,” she says, noting that during the recession people became more comfortable sharing financial hardships than they had been in the past. “We’re hearing all about people’s ailments. It’s as if there’s no taboo subjects anymore.”

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