New report on Millennial consumers offers insight too into new generation of voters

LatinaLista — So much for warning kids not to talk strangers. It seems the Millennial generation not only talks to strangers but rely on their recommendations over family and friends!

Blame it on social media.

An interesting report released today by Bazaarvoice in partnership with The Center for Generational Kinetics and Kelton Research titled Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People over Brands has some eye-opening insights on the Millennial (mid-teens to mid-30s) generation.

Though the nuggets of information, like these:

  • 44% percent of Millennials trust experienced consumers over friends and family – versus 31% of Boomers.
  • 69% of Boomers trust friends and family over consumers when it’s time to buy – versus 56% of Millennials.
  • 51% of Millennials state that user-generated content (UGC) from strangers is more likely to influence their purchase decisions than recommendations from friends, family and colleagues – only 34% of Boomers agree.
  • 84% of Millennials report that UGC from strangers has at least some influence on what they buy.

When looking for opinions about products to buy, Millennials are more than three times as likely than Boomers (22% vs. 7%) to turn to social channels. They’re on the hunt for feedback from experts and people with common interests – not just personal connections.

Despite believing companies don’t care about their opinions, Millennials still want to communicate with them. These younger consumers feel more strongly than Boomers (64% vs. 53%) that companies should offer more ways to share their opinions online in the future – and they’ll continue to participate.

are geared to brand marketers, the study may also shed light on other Millennial behavior, like political involvement.

According to the study, Millennials are almost dependent on the opinion of others before making a buying decision. Could the same be true for whom they vote for?

If so, it would definitely bring election campaigns into the 21st Century tailored to the next generation of voters.

From this study, we see that Millennials want to interact with brands/companies and want those companies to provide more online options to share their opinions. In return, the Millennials say they will participate more.

Clearly, when applied to political campaigning, Millennials don’t want campaigns to merely use social media to push a message. They want the intent of social media — give-and-take — to be honored so that they can respond and give their opinion.

The study also points out that when Millennials are on the hunt for information about a product, they routinely go beyond their personal connections to find expert advice.

Could this mean, when applied to politics, that all the robo-calling and paid political advertisements on TV and radio are a monumental waste of money when it comes to Millennials?

Could it mean that all the nasty political rhetoric polluting the airwaves is filtered out by Millennials who are so schooled in finding information online that they are bypassing the traditional sources — print newspapers, editorials, etc. — to find the information on candidates from people they consider experts?

Don’t know, but if 44 percent of Millennials won’t buy electronics without going online to find the recommendation of a “stranger-expert,” then what this study does reveal is that Millennials are weighing the opinions of more people before they’re making a final decision — that’s a good thing.

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