Millennials Consume Content and Shop Differently

 Millennials consume content and shop in different ways from other generations and these Gen Y consumers are having a profound influence on the shopping behaviors of Gen X and Boomer buyers. Today’s post offers a few more excerpts about these younger consumers from panelists and presenters at the October J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) in Las Vegas, NV.

What Does the Car Mean to Millennials?

“About 25% of millennials said they would buy a car sight unseen. They’d go online, find it, buy it and have it delivered. This is going to become a lot more important as we go along.”—Clayton Stanfield, senior manager, Dealer Outreach, eBay Motors

“For most of us, the car was the thing we wanted. The reality with millennials is that it’s probably a device they want first and foremost. A car is kind of a secondary consideration. Maybe it’s due to economics. Maybe it’s just due to how powerfully products have been marketed to them—like Xboxes and PlayStations. . . for auto manufacturers, a way to accrue loyalty and affinity to their brands is to get deeply immersed in offering the consumer some free content.”—Randy Shaffer, director, Xbox West Sales, Microsoft

“We just got a survey back that said 50% of millennials who bought a car in the past few years, more than half of them wanted to walk into the dealership with price done, financing ready, warranty ready, vehicle history reports ready. They want the dealership to be the last step. They want to spend 30 minutes in the store—maybe an hour. They’re happy to spend 3-4 hours researching their purchase on their phone.”—Clayton Stanfield, senior manager, Dealer Outreach, eBay Motors

Attention Span of Millennials?

“Look at what’s happening in premium cable. All the biggest shows: “Game of Thrones,” “Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad,”—they are all serialized content. It’s not something like “CSI” that you can drop in and instantly pick up the plot. . . We’re seeing through our network, an expansion of the willingness to watch longer-form videos. We were the classic 3-minute update snackable content. But now we’re really attempting to stretch the time they are spending with it.”—Jay Sampson, executive vice president, sales and operations, Machinima

Which Brands are doing a Good Job in Reaching Millennials?

“For me, Ford and Nissan are the most invested that I have witnessed. Hyundai—given their affiliation to “Walking Dead”—is making the investments there as well. Auto manufacturers recognize a core function of marketing is to build up that loyal affinity. That’s why they are making investments in great content.”—Jay Sampson, executive vice president, sales and operations, Machinima

What about Tracking and Measurement Concerns?

“Our goal is consumers first. We want to know whether they are watching something on an interactive television platform, a tablet, or smartphone, and how that’s leading back to the ROI for the client. Tracking is a huge piece for the industry. We’ve grown leaps and bounds from where we used to be. On our platform [the Xbox] we have a lot of data on our users.”—Randy Shaffer, director, Xbox West Sales, Microsoft

“E-commerce is core to the Millennial. Sure they will go to a terrestrial store and buy a game, go to a movie, whatever. Most of their purchases are happening online. . . Apple has classically trained millennials for the micro transaction. Everything is $1.99 or 99 cents. Millennials are very willing and able to spend for the content or the products that are important to them.”—Jay Sampson, executive vice president, sales and operations, Machinima

Do you see Amazon as a Big Content Competitor?

“I think Amazon is going to have something to say. They’ve been rolling up a lot of content. We still know what their core functionality is at the end of the day. They haven’t even placed their bets yet. I think that will create a huge driver for the industry from a competitive standpoint.”—Luke Kallis, senior vice president, sales and strategy, West Coast, VEVO

“They’re a big platform with a huge consumer base. . . I see them as coming into this space and they will be a power to behold.”—Jay Sampson, executive vice president, sales and operations, Machinima

“Amazon’s service is unique. It’s one of the few applications you can go into that has its instant side—streaming and then its on-demand side. You can go into it and look for whatever you are looking for and probably find it, but you just might have to purchase it if it’s on demand.”—Randy Shaffer, director, Xbox West Sales, Microsoft


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