25 Mar Speaking to young people in their language - the struggle is real!
Slay, turnt up, lit, basic… Like it or not, we’re surrounded by new phrases, words, and ideas that reflect the culture of young people. Whether you’re watching it on TV, seeing it on social, or hearing it from your own kids, you know what the language of young people sounds like – but do you know what it means? To effectively conduct qualitative market research with millennials and young people, qualitative market research agencies need to know how to engage with them. So from slang to social media, if you want to communicate with young people and encourage them to take part in market research, read on to find out how...
Young people and market research
A millennial is a person that reached adulthood in the 2000s, whereas Gen Z are those born in 1995 or later. With their love of avocado toast and cold brew coffee, millennials have stolen the spotlight for the past few years - but now it’s Generation Z’s time to shine. Last year, they became the largest generation of the population, and as they continue to come of age (the eldest members are still only 24 - feel old yet?!), it’s essential that qualitative market research agencies and brands know how to reach out to the influencers of tomorrow.
Communicating with young people
Qualitative market research agencies can struggle when it comes to communicating with young people and conducting market research with millennials and Gen Z. For starters, they have proven to be an elusive group: they live in a world of continuous updates and are easily distracted. They live and share their lives on the go, they want information instantly - and if they don’t get it they will move on just as fast. However, despite all of that, it’s essential that market researchers understand the lifestyle, habits and behaviours of young people. Here’s how:
The importance of digital
Millennials might be known as the social-media-obsessed selfie generation, but they are tame in comparison to Generation Z. Gen Z are the first digital natives. They were born into a digital world and 98% own a smartphone - which means that digital methods are essential when it comes to engaging with them. Market research online communities, mobile ethnography, video, social media research - if you want to attract the generation of tomorrow, you need to appeal to their digital nature. And you can forget face-to-face methodologies, too - this generation wants research that fits in with their busy lives, which means mobile methodologies will continue to grow in importance in the coming decades.
Speak to them in their language
Thanks to social media and texting where messages tend to be written quickly and in short bursts, young people today communicate differently to older generations. Whether it’s emoticons, conjoined words or abbreviations, young people can get their meaning across in fewer words. Linguistic creativity and cultural references are hallmarks of this language, where some phrases have even been born simply due to a popular meme or a mistake on social media that people found funny and co-opted. From Netflix and chill to basic and bae, if you want to engage with this audience and get them to spill the tea (see what we did there?) you need to keep up.
The millennial language evolves with every meme, so if you want to reach out to young people and conduct market research with millennials, you will need to make an effort to understand how they communicate and what they respond to - and ensure you keep up with the changes. Young people today tend to be suspicious of obvious “sales-y” tactics and prefer to be approached in a more casual way, which means that clever, entertaining messaging with a sense of humour can make a big impact and encourage them to share with their friends.
Let them know they are valued
It’s not just about talking to young people in their language, though. If qualitative market research agencies want to engage with young people, they need to know how much their opinion is valued. Younger generations today truly care about the world and want to make a difference. After all, this is the generation of woke culture. They are known as the ‘why’ generation; they like collaborating and want to benefit others. So if you want to encourage young people to take part in your market research, it’s important not just to communicate with them in their language, but to make sure you emphasise how important their role is, too. By showing them how the research will make a difference, you can make sure they’re keen to get involved and eager to take part. Yaaaaas!
Thinking about conducting market research with millennials and young people? Then make sure you download our must-read guide.