Guest post by Tracey Hope-Ross
For the past few years, Millennials have emerged as the “It” generation – assuming the mantle as the dominant demographic in everything from consumerism to pop culture to social media usage. Suddenly, we see the impact of Millennials everywhere, and a sense of urgency prevails, as society looks to gain a better understanding of this new cohort. Marketers, in particular, have struggled to gain insights on this rising demographic as they see the potential in the Millennial consumer base, but need deeper insights into how Millennials differ from the generations that came before them, how they embark on their path to purchase, and how they make purchasing decisions.
In 2014, Influence Central conducted in-depth research into Millennials, where we surveyed Women without children in order to glean insights from the data about Millennials as singletons. That study focused on Millennials’ purchase path both online and offline, how their deep connections with family and friends impact the choices in their lives, and the effect of various types of media on their day-to-day decisions.
But as the Millennial generation progresses toward its next life phase, it becomes important to know how key transitions – such as motherhood – impact Millennials as a demographic. In mid-2015, Influence Central launched a new, groundbreaking study on Millennials – this time including more than 1,000 Millennial Women, Millennial Moms, as well as Boomer and Gen X Women to more fully contextualize the Millennial cohort.
Our latest findings proved profoundly compelling – when Millennial Women become Moms, everything shifts for them. The way they interact with brands, what they look for from a brand, and the way that they search and seek out products online and offline – everything shifts. We can almost imagine a switch being flipped – as soon as Millennial Women have a baby, they begin to align themselves with a Mom group as opposed to a Millennial group.
Whereas Millennial Women really pride themselves on being social researchers online, they become more likely to be influenced by traditional media. Things like advertising play fairly highly for them as they learning about new products. As they shift through their customer product journey, they look at things like brand websites and e-commerce reviews – but they look for the amount of detail and verification that typically comes with those reviews.
When a Millennial woman becomes a Mom and she embarks on her product journey, it completely changes 90 degrees. She begins learning about products in an entirely new way – focusing solely on social networking, bloggers, and influencers to hear those personal stories and first-person recommendations. So when these Moms look at things like online reviews or recommendations from bloggers, what really pulls them in is this sense of “I recognize myself in what you’re writing about and it makes a difference to me.”
To further illuminate how motherhood impacts Millennials, we’ve outlined below key findings from our Millennial study that reveal how this transition plays out in the consumer, tech, and social media behavior of Millennial Women:
- Brands & Core Values
- 91% of Millennial Moms most admire brands that are honest, while 82% of non-Moms feel the same.
- 88% of non-Moms most admire brands that are affordable, vs. 83% of Millennial Moms.
- 63% of Millennial Moms – vs. 43% for non-Moms – most admire brands that are friendly.
- 50% of Millennial Moms most admire brands that are socially conscious, and 44% admire transparent brands – as compared to 31% for both for Millennial Women.
- Brand Loyalty
- Less than 50% of both Millennial Women and Millennial Moms consider themselves brand loyalists.
- 33% – only 1 in 3 – of Millennial Moms buy the products they grew up with.
- Brand Engagement
- 100% of Millennial Moms follow brands on social media; 58% of Millennial Women (non-Moms) follow brands on social media.
- 84% of Moms enjoy it when brands interact with them online – with just 30% of non-Moms feeling the same way.
- 84% of Millennial Moms follow brands’ social media channels in order to receive information from them – compared with 46% of Millennial Women.
- 82% of Millennial Moms strongly agree/agree that they follow brands to learn about deals and coupons – compared with 54% of non-Moms.
- Online Reviews & Recommendations
- 9 out of 10 Millennials will research a product before purchasing – while Moms have a higher likelihood of doing so more often
- 55% of Moms always research products prior to purchasing, whereas 43% of non-Moms say the same.
- When conducting online research, 83% Moms trust blogs far more than other sources.
- For non-Moms, 65% trust product websites most for online research, while 53% trust blogs most.
- So what matters most in a review from someone they don’t know? For Moms, 74% say sharing specific examples and similarity to their life has the most appeal, while 67% cite the amount of detail in a review.
- For non-Moms, facts matter more than personal anecdotes, with 65% saying they most value the amount of detail in a review, while 61% say they value knowing the reviewer is a verified user.
- 99% of Moms post their own reviews, while 82% of non-Moms do.
- 90% of Moms post often/occasionally, but only 52% of non-Moms post often/occasionally.
- Moms post most often (89%) when they have a positive or strongly positive encounter, compared with 72% of non-Moms.
- When considering making a purchase, high-star ratings rank #1 for both Moms (76%) and non-Moms (74%) – but that’s where the similarities end.
- 78% of Moms agree/strongly agree that they are more likely to purchase a product if an influencer recommends it, compared with 53% of non-Mom Millennials.
- 74% of Millennial Moms agree/strongly agree – compared with 40% of non-Moms – they have sought out information on blogs about products they learned about through traditional media because they trust what they read on blogs.
- 81% of Moms agree/strongly agree that they find the product recommendations of a blogger more authentic than a product feature in a magazine. 49% of non-Moms feel the same way.
- Social Media, Mobile, & Tech Use
- 95% of Millennial Moms own a Smartphone, compared with 87% of non-Moms.
- 81% of Millennial Moms prefer to text, rather than talk on the phone (19%), compared with 77% of non-Moms (23%).
- Device and streaming services all increase once Millennials become parents, with 95% of Moms owning a PC or laptop, 90% owning a tablet, 65% owning a streaming TV subscription, and 45% owning an Internet TV device.
- Millennial Moms juggle multiple social media platforms, with 92% checking Facebook multiple times per day, 56% checking Instagram multiple times per day, 49% checking Twitter multiple times per day, and 42% checking Pinterest multiple times per day.
- Millennial Moms use social media to: be an influencer (86%), express opinions (83%), connect with the community (79%), give advice to others (72%), make brand recommendations (71%), and share stories with others (70%).
- Consider these differences among non-Mom Millennials: be an influencer (13%), express opinions (51%), connect with the community (43%), give advice to others (25%), make brand recommendations (9%), and share stories with others (38%).
- Since becoming a parent, Millennials have changed the way they interact with brands, the Internet and technology:
- 96% follow more brands on social media now
- 87% use their Smartphone more often now
- 79% connect to the Internet via their Smartphone more often
- 61% use their tablet more often now
- 56% make more purchases using their Smartphone
- 50% use streaming TV more now
- 35% use streaming radio more often now
- 77% of Millennial Moms say the Internet has made them a better parent. How?
- 91% say it’s helped them find tips on fun activities.
- 87% say it’s helped them quickly find parenting tips and advice.
- 81% say it’s helped them find Moms going through similar life experiences.
- 79% say it’s helped them connect with other Moms, day or night
- 77% say it’s helped them connect with family members.
- 75% say it’s helped them find reputable medical or health advice.
- 65% say it’s helped them share information with family members.
- 53% of Millennials say social media has changed how they parent or their parenting skills:
- 68% of Millennial Moms say while their kids are too young for social media, they still like to use Moms’ Smartphone for apps, games, and distractions.
- 22% of Moms say they spend a lot of time monitoring their kids’ cellphone and social media use.
- 18% say they find they have to restrict their child’s social media use.
- 16% of Moms say they rely on texting to stay in touch with their kids.
About the Methodology
In June and July 2015, Influence Central surveyed a panel of more than 1,000 Millennial Moms and Millennial Women, as well as Boomer and Gen X Women to more deeply illuminate key touch points in their purchase path and decision-making process via an email invitation and an online survey. The extensive study was conducted, programmed, and analyzed by Influence Central’s Consumer Insights Group, headed by Tracey Hope-Ross.