Study Captures Nuanced Consumer Insights on a Generation That Defies Stereotypes
MFour has just finished surveying American Millennials in a new, more advanced way than previous systematic research studies. The Millennial Insights Project reached them solely on their mobile devices, using a native app that’s a radical advance over traditional online and telephonic survey methods. We talked to 1,000 U.S. Millennial consumers, ages 18 to 36, via their smartphones — the dominant communications/information devices of the era that the 75 million U.S. Millennials have begun to dominate. We sought and obtained insights into their preferences and behaviors in three important consumer sectors: Entertainment, Money & Finance, and Technology & Lifestyles.
We’ll publish our first weekly report on Tuesday, Sept. 20, focusing on Entertainment.
We built and fielded the survey with MFourDIY, the only all-mobile, do-it-yourself survey-creation platform. It took two hours from launch to completion to collect 1,000 valid responses from Millennials — who make up about 60% of MFour’s panel of more than a million active members. All our panelists use MFour’s Surveys on The Go® mobile app to receive and respond to surveys.
The Millennial Insights Project generated data from respondents who exactly reflect the U.S. adult population distribution, segmented by sex, race/ethnicity, income and age bracket. Our report divides Millennials into three six-year age brackets rather than lumping them all together. By reflecting Millennials in all their diversity, our project avoids the common pitfall of wholesale stereotyping of Millennials as a single entity.
Past surveys of Millennials have asked them to answer online questionnaires or have slowly tracked them down for person-to-person telephone interviews — a method that was once the gold standard but now is often prohibitively expensive, and out of sync with a generation that often won’t take calls from unfamiliar numbers. Underlying the Millennial Insights Project is our conviction that when it comes to talking to people who are all-in with mobile communications and smartphone apps, as Millennials surely are, it makes sense to engage them and learn about them by using all-mobile, app-based research.
We’ve used our unique method to drill down deeply to tease out nuances that give a more accurate and complex picture of a generation shaped by coming of age during a historic, 18-year arc that saw radical, amazingly rapid change – not least the advent of technology that now lets us carry the world in a hand or a handbag.
You’ll see that Millennials – people who were born between 1980 and 1998 and reached their teens from 1993 to 2011 – are not a homogeneous generational unit. One insight from the study is that it would be a costly business mistake to treat them as a single, undifferentiated consumer cohort.
A love of experiencing the world through mobile devices is one strand that does unite this intriguing, unprecedentedly diverse generation of Americans. We think you’ll get fresh insights from our coming weekly installments, so please stay tuned on the MFour blog or on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter (@mfourmobile).