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Misunderstanding millennials: why businesses need to understand what drives this lucrative market

30 May 2017

When it comes to describing millennials, stereotypes abound, yet new research by Qualtrics and Accel has found that this demographic may be the most misunderstood generation.

Businesses looking to target the lucrative millennial market segment must learn to understand millennials to improve their chances of success. 

Qualtrics and Accel surveyed more than 6,000 millennials, Gen X-ers, and Baby Boomers to understand their drivers, differences, and similarities.

Qualtrics Asia Pacific and Japan managing director Bill McMurray says, “Businesses that better understand millennials are a step ahead in terms of marketing to them effectively.”

“Knowing, for example, how important quality is versus price should encourage organisations to focus on delivering a quality product and quality experience rather than just providing the cheapest product.”

“If companies aren’t delivering a high-quality and responsive experience, whether on-line or in-store, then millennials are likely to take their business elsewhere.

This means businesses have to regularly check-in with customers to gauge whether they are having a positive experience, McMurray says.

“This checking-in should occur across all feedback channels that are relevant to millennials, such as mobile, web, in-store and social.”

Key Australian findings include:

  • Millennials are willing to spend more on material possessions and are looking for quality and socially sought-after things.
  • Despite the stereotypes, millennials aren’t lazy. They measure their work by achievement instead of hours logged and have no problem moving on if it’s not a good fit. However, only 11% of millennials have had five or more jobs in the past five years, and 84% of millennials prefer to have one full-time job rather than multiple part-time jobs. 70% are worried about having the right skills to succeed in the future.
  • Millennials aren’t motivated by money: 55% would take a salary of $53,000 for a job they like rather than $132,000 for a job they dislike.
  • Millennials are just as plugged into online life as stereotypes suggest. Half own a phone that’s less than a year old, and 35% make in-app purchases on their phones at least monthly.
  • Appearances mean a lot to millennials, 49% of millennials say buying brand products is very important, and 33% are very willing to spend more on designer brands. 47% own designer clothing and 58% are loyal to certain brands. They say higher quality is the number one reason they prefer designer brands.
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