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How mobile beats other channels for marketing to millennials

While new research from GfK MRI suggests treating millennials as a uniform segment can be a mistake for fashion marketers, it also reveals that mobile is an exception, as most consumers in this group express similar positive attitudes toward mobile marketing. 

The new analysis from GfK?s Survey of the American Consumer compared the attitudes and behaviors of women 20 to 24 and 25 to 37, finding significant differences when it comes to fashion that could impact the way advertisers and agencies approach millennials. The results suggest it could be more efficient for fashion marketer to leverage mobile to target millennials with one message and strategy as opposed to the varied approach required to effectively reach this group in other channels. 

?Regardless of which of the segments of millennials, whether the younger or the older, they are pretty much into having access on mobile, seeing ads, watching video clips,? said Catherine Saraniti, senior vice president of media sales at GfK Mediamark Research & Intelligence LLC. 

?They are interested in getting coupons on their cell phone,? she said. ?They are significantly more open to getting advertising through their mobile phone,? 

?[Marketers can] go out with one message and one strategy. It is appropriate for both of them.?

Fashion influencers
Fashion marketers who treat millennials as a single group may be leaving sales dollars on the table, according to GfK MRI?s research. 

For example, women in the younger age bracket are 81 percent more likely than all women to be Fashion Category Influencers, meaning they are deeply familiar with fashion and are word-of-mouth leaders, while women in the older group are only 52 percent more likely to fit into this category. Consumers in the younger group are also more likely to refresh their wardrobes at the start of each season and to rely on magazines and the Internet for fashion information. 

In comparison, older millennials are 13 percent more likely to have heavy exposure to outdoor media.  
The two groups also use social media differently. The older group is more likely to rate or review a product or service via social media while younger millennials are 111 percent more likely to follow or become a fan of something or someone. 

Over-indexing on mobile
The differences are not as dramatic when it comes to mobile marketing. 

As a whole, the group over-indexes in their interest in watching video clips on their mobile phones, receiving coupons on their mobile phone that are based on their location and in receiving ads in exchange for lower monthly payments. This group would also be interested in receiving ads on their mobile phones in exchange for services such as live television or text messaging. 

?We?ve segmented people into these four different types of fashions segments: Function Over Fashion, Mainstream Fashion, Fashion on a Budget and Fashion First,? Ms. Saraniti said. ?You are seeing these people are very mobile engaged and interested in mobile.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York