How to Engage Millennials in Research, and Keep Them Engaged

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by ConsultaPanel Team, 02 Jul 2014

Andre Prinsloo tells us how to keep millennials engaged

Andre Prinsloo from Consulta Research presented an intriguing paper at this year’s SAMRA (Southern African Marketing Research Association) conference. His research focused on how Millennials (aged 20 – 35) can be kept engaged during market research.

“Millennials have a few characteristics that should be kept in mind when conducting market research. They have more choices, they’re experiential and exploratory learners, they like flexibility and convenience, they’re impatient and they are digital natives,” explains Prinsloo.

In South Africa, Millennials (also known as Generation Y) constitute the largest segment of the population, with 14.5-million locals falling into this age category. They are currently graduating and entering the workplace, they’re children of Baby Boomers (and often siblings of Generation X-ers) and the ethnic population can be divided as follows: 83% Black; 8% Coloured, 3% Indian/Asian and 6% are White.

“Increasingly black and white South African Millennials have more in common with one another because of global influences - despite local differences - and less and less in common with their older siblings, parents and grandparents. There is an increasing trend toward a global one world culture and characteristics that transcend traditional divides,” said Prinsloo before explaining that there are specific things that market researchers should keep in mind when creating surveys for Millennials.

Pointers for engaging Millennials in market research

Firstly, the survey length should be kept short. Prinsloo’s research showed that 80% of the Millennial respondents indicated that an ideal time to spend on a survey would be between 5 – 15 minutes, with the majority (36%) indicating a 10 minute survey would be ideal.

“Respondents also indicated that researchers should broaden the scope of surveys without compromising on time and that they would like to see their efforts regarding survey participation acknowledged through motivational tools such as a progress bar,” adds Prinsloo.

Mr. Andre Prinsloo

With regards to communication style and language, respondents said they preferred it if correct English is used (so avoid slang) and that market researchers should use methods that require Millennials to make clear choices. “It also helps to keep it real and be provocative in the way questions are asked in surveys,” says Prinsloo.

Gamification is also a great tool that can be used during market research. The use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts can be used to engage users in solving problems. Rewards, however, should be implemented imaginatively in the form of Gamification elements such as points and rankings.

“Millennials will participate more readily if there are instant gratification incentives. Altruism should also be used creatively in conjunction with other incentives, rather than in isolation,” concludes Prinsloo.

More SAMRA news:
Unpacking the neuromarketing phenomenon.
Do South Africans really prefer South African products? 


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