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Why millennials are changing qualitative market research

 Everyone is talking about Millennials; it seems to be the buzz word of the moment for market researchers the world over, but does anyone actually know what it really means for us? How can we tap into the Millennials market that we are told holds the key to the future of marketing if we don’t know what we are trying to tap into?

So firstly, let’s look at what Millennials are. Similar to their predecessors, the ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Generation X’, they are an age demographic, that reached young adulthood around the 2000’s and are viewed by many as an essential demographic in modern day market research. Growing up in this time makes them unique, experiencing the world in a very different way to those who came before them.

It is believed that they have the following shared traits:

• High sense of self worth and self belief in all that they do. They believe that they are valuable and can offer something of worth to society on a big scale.

• More sheltered due to the rise in health and safety, restricting the perhaps more dangerous or adventurous activities their parents and grandparents might have enjoyed.

• Belief, not just in self but in community and the power of their generation. They believe change is possible and are optimistic that it can be achieved.

• Team players, as created by schools and clubs as youths, they are used to working as part of a team in many aspects of their lives, sometimes never striving to stand out from the crowd.

• Conflict adverse, resulting from a lower level of competitiveness and rather than fighting the system they tend to reaffirm their parents' ideals and values.

• Hard working, always looking to make the most of each opportunity that presents, rather than resting on contacts and luck to get ahead.

• Goal orientated, always looking to achieve their aspirations and goals, fuelled by the feeling of achievement.

They value health, wellbeing, sustainability and ethical treatment. Unlike those who came before them they are living, able to make choices rather than just surviving and with the advent of the internet their choices and opinions are formed and shared for the world to see.

Seen as a truly digital generation, they were amongst the first to fully embrace digital technology, with the majority of Millennials being early adopters of tech. Connected by a vast network of social media, they are collaborators rather than passive consumers, engaging and interacting rather than merely reacting. With what is seen as a non-traditional approach to life, optimistic outlook in the face of diversity and unique sense of self, there are endless lessons that qualitative market researchers can learn from this remarkable demographic.

Millennials and Qualitative Market Research

Because of Millennials, market research has taken a major shift to the digital side; it is where they reside in their work life and down time therefore digital media plays a vital role in reaching them. You must engage with them on their level, give them substance and value. You need to understand what makes them tick, makes them happy, makes them angry and what their passions are. By involving Millennials, you will find your route to them, through a partnership and cooperation. With their shared love and familiarity with technology, they are the best subjects to test new apps, tech and gadgets and receive honest feedback and suggestions fast.

As digital natives, their impact on market research is wholly unquantifiable. With a great understanding and competency for the ever evolving technologies, and acceptance of new platforms, it seems that qualitative market research is firmly going online. Engaging Millennials on their own turf is key and market research methodologies such as MROCs are really beginning to gain traction as the methodology of choice to engage this generation in a qualitative market research setting. This new technique allows for greater control than ever before. By directly selecting and controlling the engagement with your ideal demographic you can increase insight in a time frame to suit… which these days is always yesterday.

Market research online communities are becoming the forefront in market research for a number of reasons, but it is so popular with Millennials due to their very nature; tech savvy and extremely reliant, they are trusting of all things digital and wary of the more classic methods. Short attention spans resulting from constant engagement and a desire to share opinions, content and solutions means that online is the premier way to reach and understand this fascinating demographic.

So what does all of this really mean for qualitative market research?

Well, to put it simply, they have thrown everything that traditional marketers thought they knew, out of the metaphorical window. As the largest demographic, this is not set to change any time soon. They are the present and future of consumer behaviour and research conducted now will pave the way to the marketing of tomorrow.

With the shift to everything digital, it is inevitable that market research online communities will continue to make up a large chunk of the qualitative market research market. By nature Millennials are big believers in collective experiences in which they can contribute and have their voice heard, making face-to-face research less of a default option. By using this type of platform it enables engagement through a language Millennials are much more familiar with.

And we should thank them for this shift in our qualitative market research behaviour. With easier access to participants through online channels, market researchers can improve their reaction times to trends and current affairs which is priceless in a world that just won’t wait.

We have access to thousands of millennials so if you are looking to run a market research online community with this sought after demographic, get in touch today and we would love to help.

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