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“Mobile usage is prevalent in all age groups, but is overwhelmingly preferred by the 18-34 years demographic. Visual content such as videos, info graphics, and images are much more effective on mobile platforms than text-heavy content. However, buyers over 45 years overwhelmingly prefer to consume content on desktops and laptops,” – Hubspot Research

“Content is king” states one of the most enduring tenets of modern marketing. Markey surveys indicate that content consumption habits among customers, consumers, and buyers continue to evolve. Modern consumers pursue hectic and dense lifestyles. Therefore, short forms of content, on-demand content, and bundled content presented in mobile-friendly formats take the pole position. In addition, modern technologies have enabled high definition screens (think televisions, laptops, smartphones, and tablets) through which visual and interactive content is being served to consumers. Concurrently, marketers and surveyors have noted the rise of specific product and content preferences in the consumption habits of modern audiences. We will examine some of these preferences that attract specific customer demographics.

Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are individuals born between the years 1979 and 1995. An overwhelming number of Millennials state they prefer digital channels when researching new products and services. These channels include online search engines, vendor websites, product review services, social networks, and online micro blogging services. In the present day, Millennials represent a huge buying constituency in a majority of modern markets. They have product and content preferences. Therefore, marketers need to examine and understand the buying behavior of Millennials. This can help them embrace how Millennials consume information and content. This understanding also helps marketers build relationships with this demographic and create a long-term impact. An estimated 30% of Millennials prefer to browse online videos as the preferred content format prior to committing to purchase decisions. An estimated 60% of Millennials invest free time in watching company videos. These individuals do not wish to peruse text-heavy content formats such as newsletters. These facts lead us to believe that marketers should bear these product and content preferences in mind and create video products when targeting content at Millennials. In addition, case studies, white papers, brochures, webinars, and info graphics represent ‘lesser’ channels of content consumption for Millennials.

Millennials are avid consumers of social media. This demographic displays product and content preferences and participates heavily in social media platforms. Millennials are also active ‘sharers’ on social media; this demographic frequently shares content through said platforms. This implies that marketers can reach Millennials through social media feeds. Consequently, marketing budgets and marketing campaigns should be geared for social media when business organizations plan to reach and influence the millennial customer. Further, the specific product and content preferences of Millennials indicate that electronic coupons, discount sales, flash sales, promotional offers, new product inaugurations – all of these marketing tactics gain significant mileage when integrated into multiple social media platforms. In light of the above, we state that social media offers infinite marketing possibilities for the enterprising corporate citizen.

Millennials also display a strong inclination to view and consume content via mobile platforms. This is one of the marked aspects of their product and content preferences. This is not surprising when we consider the preponderance of connected mobile devices and the ubiquity of mobile broadband connectivity. Marketers have energetically responded by creating entirely new classes of video-based marketing communications designed specifically for mobile consumption. This new crop of videos are imbued with modern electronic graphics, attractive sound tracks, a condensed storyline, smart product placement, and authentic ideas. We may state that such videos are the successors of the revered television ‘commercials’ that have borne the brunt of mass marketing campaigns for long decades. The huge spikes registered by online video consumption in recent years remain a direct consequence of marketers moving to tap the mobile-friendly millennial customer.

An estimated 68% of Baby Boomers prefer traditional content formats. These include news articles, research reports, blogs, e-books, and email content from commercial brands. Baby Boomers represent an older demographic born between the years 1946 and 1964. This constituency is less friendly to social media channels and is averse to using social devices such as hashtags. Baby Boomers prefer photographs and static images in their marketing content. They also remain friendly to paper-based mass mailers that reach consumers via the traditional mailbox. These trends lead us to believe that marketers can target Baby Boomers through email-driven campaigns that outline the attributes of a product or service. Further, marketers must bear in mind the product and content preferences of this demographic. Proper formatting in marketing email lends a crucial edge in campaigns aimed at Baby Boomers. They must refrain from using abbreviations in the email content because the target constituency does not relate to abbreviations. A catchy headline for the email is more likely to catch the attention of Baby Boomers. These count heavily among the product and content preferences associated with Baby Boomers.

The marked preference for traditional content formats for Baby Boomers may stem from the fact that this demographic finds itself at ease with technologies that emerged during the last century. The Boomers have specific product and content preferences such as email, e-books, news articles, research reports, and other text-heavy formats. These formats represent linear content that holds the attention spans of said demographic. The content presented by these vehicles can be easily perused on desktop computers and laptop devices. The familiarity quotient of these devices remains high among Baby Boomers. In addition, the advanced age of most Baby Boomers can make for difficult negotiations with modern hand-held consumer devices. The physical stability associated with older content consumption platforms (legacy technologies such as desktop computers and laptop devices) makes them more amenable to Baby Boomers. Consequently, they may be averse to heavily mobile-centric forms of marketing such as online videos and social media.

Flagship websites are critical to trigger content consumption and enhance brand engagement in the modern world. Consumers from every age group, irrespective of product and content preferences, engage with websites on a regular basis. We may state that a website offers the first ‘go-to’ resource when modern consumers wish to engage in commercial research or reach a purchase decision. Modern commercial websites also offer branded videos to enhance their marketing reach and update blog sections in a bid to boost consumer engagement. An extension of this policy places multiple social media buttons on different web pages. In addition, businesses offer online audiences an opportunity to sign up for email newsletters. Consequent to these actions, the modern consumer engages with a brand at multiple levels through its website.

The foregoing passages have sought to examine the product and content preferences of the various age groups of modern customers. We note that diversity should be key when brands and businesses brainstorm to create the perfect marketing strategy. Consumers should be viewed through the lenses of age, gender, location, income, preferences, nationality, etc. The millennial consumer represents the largest buying constituency, as also the maximum buying power in modern times. Therefore, brands and businesses should invest special effort in catering to the millennial consumer. In addition, marketing strategies should be refined with information issuing from current marketing campaigns. This choice of action should help a business to fine-tune marketing efforts with respect to the targeted customer segment.

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