By Chris Lee
European ‘Millennials’ – those aged 18-36 who have grown up in the Internet era – are more sensitive about how much data they divulge, but social media is key to speaking to them, according to research from tech company SDL.
Europe’s Millennials are almost as willing to connect with brands through social media as their US counterparts if it means they can reap rewards like free perks and discounts, SDL says.
More than half (52 per cent) of respondents in the US have no issue with brands using their information to benefit customer experience, compared to 37 per cent in the UK, 28 per cent in Germany, 23 per cent in Norway and only 13 percent in the Netherlands.
Is it OK for brands to track data?
When it comes to highly personal identity data that is acceptable for brands to track, the differences between US and European Millennials is sharp, but brands can win over Millennials if they build brand trust, SDL found.
Millennial customers are most likely to consider a brand’s offer if they have done business with them in the past. The majority of Millennials feel this way, at 89 per cent in the US, 81 per cent in the UK, 71 per cent in Germany and 78 per cent in the Netherlands. This is also more likely to lead to sharing of more personal data, SDL argued.
“There can be a tendency to see all Millennials as the same. This is mistaken as our study reveals both strong differences and similarities between Millennials of different nationalities,” said Paige O’Neill, CMO at SDL.
Content and social are crucial
Though more sensitive about how much data they divulge, the research study does suggest that using social media to speak to the European Millennial generation is key. They are almost as willing to connect with brands through social media as their US counterparts if it means they can reap rewards like free perks and discounts. In the US, 62 per cent will connect to get discounts compared with 51 per cent in the UK, 50 per cent in Germany and 42 per cent in the Netherlands.
Relevancy of marketing content is essential to Millennials. 46 per cent of Millennials in the US and 35 per cent of UK respondents are willing to provide more data to businesses if it means they wouldn’t have to waste their time with offers that aren’t relevant.
SDL’s O’Neill concluded: “Data privacy matters more to Millennials in Europe than those in the US and this should influence how brands collect personal information to improve experience. Big Data, without sifting through to obtain the small portion relevant for customers, has no value when it comes to the customer experience. For success, marketers need to spend time focusing on what matters to the consumers in the region they are selling in, and alter their strategies to align.”
SDL has created an infographic to illustrate its findings.