Scorpion Survey Reveals Unique Perspectives Across Generations; Differing Opinions on Personalized Marketing, Resources for Purchasing Decisions, and Advertising Receptivity
Scorpion, the leading provider of technology and services that help local businesses thrive, announced the results of a survey that explores the traditional and digital media channels consumers prefer when researching and purchasing new products or services, as well as their data privacy/online personalization preferences. The survey was conducted with Qualtrics in Q2 of 2022, and had a sample size of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.
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Key findings include:
- Most people want Web personalization: 71% of respondents indicated they like having their Website browsing experience personalized. In fact, only 9% of Gen Z said they would not want a personalized web browsing experience while 19% of Millennials and 28% of Gen X said no. A whopping 46% of Baby Boomers said no to a personalized web browsing experience, meaning they were 5x more likely than Gen Z to not want personalized ads, often tied to data privacy concerns.
- However, many are not satisfied with that Web personalization: In fact, 72% of respondents indicated dissatisfaction with the digital ads they receive. A quarter of the survey respondents indicated that personalized Web ads were usually not relevant to them; 22% said the ads ‘seem to know too much’ about them; and 22% indicated ads reached them after they had already made their purchases.
- Neighborhood apps are a hit with Gen Z and Millennials: Gen Z and Millennials were nearly 2x as likely as Baby Boomers (29% vs 16%) to use neighborhood apps and pages (e.g., NextDoor and Facebook Groups) for learning about new products and services.
- Smart Devices Unlock Next Phase of Shopping: Older Millennials and younger members of Gen X lead the way in smart device shopping at 56%, followed by Gen Z at 46% and younger Millennials at 44%. Despite traditionally lagging behind in technology adoption, a surprising 33% of Baby Boomers use smart devices for shopping.
- YouTube is the great unifier: The most helpful social network turned out to be YouTube, with 17% of respondents giving it the top spot, though Gen Z and Millennials were nearly 3x as likely as Baby Boomers (22% vs 8%) to say YouTube was the most helpful.
“The future of digital marketing is centered around personalization, as businesses of all sizes now have access to technology that can provide a 1:1 experience for their customers,” said Joe Martin, VP of Marketing at Scorpion. “It’s essential that small businesses understand their customers so they can produce tailor-made marketing that results in each customer truly understanding the value of the goods or services delivered. When this occurs, customer satisfaction peaks, and that in turn results in customer retention, and even additional customers via ‘word of mouth’.”
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When it comes to learning about new products and services, younger and older generations share some similarities, but also have distinct preferences when it comes to certain channels.
- Across all age groups, 53% of respondents said online and email ads were where they learned about new products and services while 43% said websites were where they turned. These were the only two channels where variance among the generational groups was relatively small.
- Gen Z (18-24) and younger Millennials (25-34) are 4.5x and 4X more likely than Baby Boomers to turn to influencers when learning about new products and services, with 43% of Gen Z and 35% of younger Millennials saying they were influenced by influencers compared to 9% of Baby Boomers.
- The rising prevalence of messaging platforms like Discord and Reddit with younger generations was apparent as Gen Z was 4.5x and Millennials + Gen X 5x as likely as Baby Boomers to use them for new product and service discovery. Only 3% of Baby Boomers turned to messaging platforms while Gen Z clocked in at 14% and Millennials + Gen X 16%.
- The tables were flipped when it came to direct mail, flyers, and print ads. This more traditional channel resonated with Baby Boomers much more than younger generations, with Baby Boomers (38%) 3.5x more likely to turn to print than Gen Z (10%) and younger Millennials (11%).
With regards to online reviews, younger generations tend to place more emphasis on star ratings while older generations are more willing to let companies slide if they have poorer reviews.
- 23% of Gen Z and 20% of Millennials said they would never consider a company that had less than five-stars on review sites. This is in contrast to Baby Boomers, of whom only 7% said as such.
- On the other side of the coin, 16% of Baby Boomers said they would not exclude a company based on their star ratings. This is 4x more likely than Gen Z (4%).
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