Millennials, Mobiles and the Future of Business

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

mobile-internet-conceptBusiness owners who want to plan for the future of their company should keep their eyes on the two Ms: Mobile and Millennials. This intersection of technology and demographics is the driving force behind many of the market trends we now see. And as millennials age, they will become backbone and decision makers of the future economy. Recent studies from several research teams have empirically shown the power of millennials and mobile devices as well as how these factors will influence commerce in the future.

As the first generation to grow up with computers, it’s little wonder that the millennial generation uses modern technology better than other generations. While every generation has seen gains in the adoption and usage rates of mobile devices, the rates for millennials is significantly higher. Nielsen released a report on reaching the modern empowered consumer which found that engagement with texts and apps of consumer packaged goods retailers increased 26 percent between 2011 and 2014 for millennials. This was more than double the rate of increase of all generations, which was only 12 percent during the same period.

Sullivan, Higdon & Sink reported 54 percent of US millennials use the internet via smartphones for at least 5 hours each week, compared to 14 percent for boomers. The same is true for tablets and millennials. The same study reported that 35 percent of US millennials use the internet via tablets for at least 5 hours each week, compared to just 13 percent for boomers.

These findings were echoed in a report from comScore that was released about the same time. Young adults, aged 18-34 spend 16 percent more time on mobile apps per month than adults 35-54. A different comScore report showed that for certain demographics, internet marketing is half as effective without mobile marketing. The study found that 40 percent of online Hispanic millennials access the internet only via mobile devices.

The fact that millennials use the internet and mobile so much makes it easier to market to them. A Nielsen study found that 55 percent of ad impressions aimed at Americans aged 16-30 reach their intended audience. One would think that with the advent of Facebook’s Atlas ad network, that percentage will increase significantly in the next few years.

As was mentioned in the outset, millennials are entering a time in their lives when they are taking on more economic responsibilities. For example, despite the stereotype of the college graduate living at home, many millennials are renting living spaces and buying homes. Over the next five years, millennials will spend will spend $500 billion on rent and $1.6 trillion on mortgage payments, according to Nielsen.

The same study showed that the generation also has high consumer confidence. Nearly four out of five said they planned to own a home and the same amount said they expected their financial situation to improve in the future. This may explain why 74 percent plan to move in the next five years.

Not only will millennials and their addiction to mobile devices drive internet commerce in the future, these trends matter now. According to one forecast, millennial consumers account for 40 percent of Americans who intend to make online purchases in the next 6 months. Generation X shoppers account for 28 percent of purchase intent and the rate is just 10 percent for boomers.

Mobile marketing is going to be important for all demographics, but the for business owners seeking to make headway with younger generations, the time to act is now. Small businesses can start by updating their site to be more mobile friendly, and by utilizing social media marketing to reach their audiences on the apps they use the most.

Read this article on our site for more information on ways to target millennials audiences. And here’s an article with nine recent stats on mobile marketing.

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