Millennials Most Digitally Connected Generation

Millennials spend 14.5 hours each week texting, talking and accessing social media on their smartphone, more than any other generation, according to a report from Experian Marketing Services.

These adults, ages 18-34, are also the most diverse, informed and digitally connected generation, with 77% owning a smartphone. Millennials spend so much time on their smartphones that they account for 41%of the total time that Americans spend using smartphones, despite making up just 29% of the population.

In the report, “Millennials come of age,” 50% of Millennial smartphone owners say that they access the Internet more often through their phone than through a computer.

Millennials also spend the most time using media compared with other generations, at approximately 9.5 hours a day, or 67 hours a week, compared with 61 hours that adults ages 35 and older spend using media per week. It is the first generation to devote the majority of their media time with digital media. They spend 35 hours a week with digital media and 32 hours a week with traditional media.

Millennials are true digital natives, says Alex Schumacher, vice president of marketing, Experian Marketing Services. They are 1.7 times more likely than smartphone owners ages 35 and older to use travel apps, 1.5 times more likely to use VOIP apps such as Skype, 1.4 times more likely to use sports apps and 1.2 times more likely to use classified apps such as Craigslist.

"Marketers should be aware of the changing expectations of their customers as the Millennial generation enters peak adult spending years," Schumacher tells Marketing Daily. "Millennials are omni-channel consumers with mobile being their primary channel of choice. Given that this is a generational reality, marketers should be accelerating their investments in creating and integrating brand experiences incorporating mobile by design."

It also means that mobile should play heavily into their marketing and advertising programs given the amount of time Millennials spend with their devices, he says. 

"Of course, like all consumers, Millennials are not a monolithic blob, they are individuals and more than any other generation, they want to be treated as such," Schumacher says. "This means marketers need to make more effort to understand the unique attitudes and motivations of their target customers and leverage that insight into designing and executing their brand experience."

Short of the social networks and a number of media companies, like Facebook and Comedy Central that focus on the Millennial market, many companies are adopting a mobile into their interaction design strategy.

"Companies that we admire include UBER for demonstrating how to integrate mobile into an integrated experience," Schumacher says. "American Express for the ability to sign-up for mobile offers that are geo-targeted in real-time. Starbucks for integrating mobile into their customer experience with mobile payments."

Millennials are the most diverse generation in history with only 55% identifying as non-Hispanic and white. More than a fifth of adult Millennials are Hispanic, the most dominant ethnic or racial minority among the generation.

"Understanding the attitudes and behaviors that set Millennial Hispanics apart, such as their even greater reliance on mobile, their increased motivation to own their own business and their more traditional attitudes, as well as the ways in which many straddle two cultures is critical in engaging this influential subset of the generation," Schumacher says.

"Girl Using Smartphone" photo from Shutterstock.

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