Reaching and engaging Millennials

Reaching and engaging Millennials

Engaging Millennials is one of the key challenges facing market researchers today. The Millennial generation is one that grew up living in technology. Being immersed in technology since birth, they are “native speakers” of computers and devices. As a result, they view, use, and interact with technology with great comfort and ease. And Millennials are now the largest generation in America, with nearly 75 million people, according to Pew Research. They have significant buying power, too, with an estimated $200 billion in annual spending by 2017. Understanding and engaging with the Millennial audience is key to an organization’s success.

Who are the Millennials, anyway?

Pew Research defines the Millennials as people between 18 and 34 in 2015 (birth years between 1981 and 1997). The name “Millennials” derives from their high school graduation in the first decade of the 2000s. They are also known as “digital natives” because they are the first generation to grow up with the internet and personal tech devices in an always-connected world.

In their book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, William Strauss and Neil Howe proposed that each generation has common characteristics and attitudes based on shared life experiences. What are the characteristics that define the Millennial generation?

Millennials and technology

The primary thing that Millennials say makes them different from other generations is their use (and reliance on) technology. How do Millennials view, interact, and engage with technology?

  • They are tech savvy. Millennials have lived in technology all of their lives. They use technology and devices naturally as part of their daily life. They are quicker to adapt to and adopt new technologies. More than any other generation, they view technology positively and believe that it allows them to use time more efficiently.
  • They are tech dependent. While it is true that they use technology more and spend more of their time on social media and instant messaging than other generations, they may not necessarily understand how technology works–just that it does. And they expect it to work.
  • They always have their mobile devices with them. A recent study found that over 83% of Millenials sleep with or next to their smartphones. Break time at the office is frequently spent on their smartphone, engaging with social networks or texting friends. They have them with them at all times, even when socializing.
  • Technology is their social connection. They communicate far more via texting, social media, and instant messaging apps, and rely on their technology for a 24×7 connection to the world.

Millennial behaviors

Other than technology, there are some common behavioral traits that have emerged to help describe Millennials.

  • They want instant gratification. In an on-demand world where answers to almost anything are just a Google search away, Millenials want it now.
  • They care about environmental and social issues. They support and are loyal to businesses that care about making the world a better place and are involved in their communities.
  • They want products and services that are relevant to them and add value. If they see the utility and value in something, they will use it.
  • They have a gamer mentality. They want to achieve the highest scores, and be recognized for their achievements (even if it is just for participation). According to a study from Zogby Analytics, a majority (57%) of Millennials play video games at least three times a week. Video games are not just for entertainment, but an important part of their identity.

Engaging Millennials with survey gamification

With the Millennial generation, communication is about authenticity and trust. They need to get to know you before they trust you and your products. Your communications–and your surveys–should be designed with that goal in mind. Gamification of your surveys is a great way of reaching and engaging Millennials with your surveys.

Here are some gamification principles that can help with reaching and engaging Millennials:

  • Don’t advertise to them–engage with them. Millennials are largely distrustful of advertising and adept at ignoring advertising. Only about 1% of Millennials say that a compelling advertisement builds trust with the brand. Instead, they want engagement and transparency. They know that you monitor your social mentions, so don’t ignore them. Instead, engage with them and give them a glimpse behind the curtains. Interact with your audience. Millennials are more loyal to brands that use their social media channels to interact with them rather than use it to direct messaging to them.
  • Create a story or narrative. Use chatbots and design questions to make the survey process more personable. Let them communicate using the same systems that they are used to with texting and instant messengers to tell their story.
  • Optimize your content for mobile delivery. Mobile devices are becoming one of the primary platforms for consuming content of all types, from web to video. It’s also the primary tool for communication, news, and entertainment. Use common game mechanics and take advantage of the mobile format. Utilize common touchscreen operations such as taps and swipes. All of our survey games are touch-screen friendly and mobile-optimized.
  • Players like to make progress towards a goal. Give them feedback on their progress through visual meters, and show them the results. Make their contributions seem valuable and important. This gives them the instant gratification and recognition they crave.

Using Datagame for survey gamification

Datagame allows you to include engaging activities to collect market research data while also providing an entertaining experience. Datagame provides a great experience on Android or Apple smartphones and tablets. Sign up for a free account and see how our DIY insights gamification platform can help you with reaching and engaging Millennials.