Social advertising firm RadiumOne has released survey results that shed light on the mobile habits of 18- to 34-year-olds, or Generation C, as well as who Gen-C really trusts when it comes to purchase recommendations.
RadiumOne conducted the survey in October. It included more than 500 participants.
RadiumOne says its findings validate this age group's personal connection with each other and their likelihood to consume media content, socialize, and share experiences through devices - as well as their purchasing power.
"Generation C is very savvy. They love to explore and engage on this platform," says Kamal Kaur, vice president of mobile and display at RadiumOne. "That means one person commuting or standing in line is still very much connected within the social sphere [on a smartphone] and has the ability to affect brand perspective."
To wit: 55 percent of survey respondents said they used their mobile device to comparison shop at least once a week. Of those, 33 percent use the device 1 to 3 times, 14 percent use it 3 to 6 times and 8 percent use it 6 or more times.
What's more, half of the 18-to-34-year-old survey participants said they use their smartphones to share offers such as coupons, sales and ads with friends - 31 percent said they do it 1 to 3 times per month, 16 percent said 3 to 6 times per month and 3 percent said more than 6 times.
Further, 79 percent of respondents said their mobile purchases are largely driven by personal recommendations (41 percent) and sales-based content (38 percent).
"A huge percentage of people are making brand choices based on recommendations and that is really important for marketers," Kaur says. "They have to be able to strategize their mobile presence and not treat mobile as an adjunct [phenomenon]. The need to integrate mobile into their media plans. If they leave mobile out, it's not going to serve them well this upcoming holiday season."
RadiumOne says sharing offers with friends is not only a phenomenon of face-to-face interactions and desktop display channels, but it is also happening at a faster pace on mobile devices. The power to identify social connections, gain insight about consumer behavior on mobile devices and analyze real-time interests enables brands to cater to the needs of this demographic, RadiumOne says.
"As brand marketers are gearing up for their Black Friday or Cyber Monday strategies, they need to keep mobile in their vision as well- not just print," Kaur says. "They should be able to run enticing offers on mobile that will drive more traffic to stores."
In addition to comparison shopping and offer sharing, Generation C is also using mobile devices to make actual purchases. According to the survey, 55 percent have made a purchase from a mobile device in the last 6 months. Of that 55 percent, 32 percent made 1 to 3 purchases, 14 percent made 3 to 6 and 9 percent made more than 6 purchases.
Another impact this holiday season: The aforementioned comparison shopping in which one consumer behind multiple screens - TV, PC and mobile device - can research and make purchase decisions in a number of on- and offline venues.
"Generation C is the one that is very engaged, very open. They're bargain shoppers and know platforms in and out, making a transition between mobile app and back to PC and other environments," Kaur says.
Generation C is potentially lucrative for brands because the audience has a higher propensity to stay engaged and is using devices much more than other demographic, Kaur adds.
See the full survey results here.
Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
June 20, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT