Commentary

Search Marketers Find Social Awareness In Gen Y

Gen-YSearch marketers reaching out to consumers ages 18 to 34 may want to take a closer look at their political preferences and the characteristics that support their beliefs. New research from The Intelligence Group found that members of Generation Y plan to cast a vote for president based on who will make the world better, while 27% will base their vote on who they think will improve their personal situation.

Social media gives candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney a method to connect more closely with voters. Generation Y are not "slacktivists" -- a label some have given them. In fact, they display signs of strong social awareness and activism, and are uniquely positioned to have a meaningful impact in a technology-driven society.  They believe they can do well both financially and for the world.

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This group of young adults believes in social entrepreneurship. Some 56% would take a pay cut to work somewhere that changes the world. When asked to name the person who is most capable of making a difference in the world, only the President ranked ahead.

Although they may not seem as if they do, those in the Generation Y group pay close attention to their surroundings. The study found that two out of three believe one person on a computer who is aware and spreading the word can create more change than one person on the street who is rallying and protesting.

The study, which surveyed 900 U.S. consumers from June 23 to July 3, also looked at priorities in 2007 versus 2012. For example, young voters in 2007 ranked top issues as terrorism, war, and education. In 2012, the focus shifted to economy, environment and education. In 2007, top causes were cancer, animal rights, and education. In 2012, they favor education, ending poverty, and the environment.


Generation Y photo from Shutterstock

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