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No, Millennials Never Put Down Their Phones

Millennials never put down their phones

eMarketer highlights new research from My.com that shows Millennials are more attached to their phones than you already think they are. Key quote:

“45% of smartphone- and tablet-using 13-to-18-year-olds in the US spent 4 hours or more using the mobile internet each weekday, with 28% logging on for over 5 hours on average. Nearly half of 19- to 22-year-olds spent at least 4 hours with the mobile internet every weekday. Here, too, just less than one in three logged on for over 5 hours on average.”

Now apart from My.com’s weird definition of Millennials (capping the demographic segment at 24, instead of the more common 30-ish), the study still found plenty of useful tidbits about market trends driven by this influential and important segment. For starters, there’s this gem:

“US millennial smartphone users ranked having mobile-friendly websites and apps No. 1, at 55%.”

It’s a given that mobile will underscore your industry and that you need to take steps now to protect your business, but this reliance on mobile among emerging customer groups underscores the trend’s significance.

There’s an old joke that says insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids. As it happens, technology adoption works the same way. Sure, Boomers and Gen X like to pretend that they taught their kids how to use technology.

But look around.

Are 20-somethings experiencing life the same way you have for years? Or, are you starting to live your life the way they do? If you’re texting, watching YouTube or other videos on your phone, keeping in contact with friends and family via Facebook and Instagram, snapping selfies everywhere you go, and enjoying lots of other activities that Millennials take for granted every day, chances are you got it from them, not the other way ’round.

And the trend is growing. Note this point from eMarketer:

“Among 18- to 24-year-olds, mobile phone penetration will come in at 96.5%—the highest out of all age brackets—and 91.4% of these consumers will log on to the internet via their phones at least once per month.”

Mobile is bigger than you think. And, as eMarketer’s data suggests, is going to get even bigger. No, Millennials never put down their phones. And if you’re not able to meet their needs on mobile, they’ll put down you instead.

Looking to learn still more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing? Be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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