We all know those people who are constantly posting to social media, updating their followers about every minute detail of their lives – what they had for breakfast, where they bought new bath towels, who they saw at the grocery store, etc. More often than not, these chronic over-sharers are Millennials. As a generation that came of age during the digital evolution, these young adults navigate social media fluidly with little regard to privacy concerns. Or so we thought.
During my research of Millennial parents for my new book (out in August 2015), I came across a startling statistic that made me rethink what I thought I knew about Millennials and their concern for online privacy. A recent study from FutureCast showed that twenty nine percent of Millennial parents said they used the Internet less because of privacy concerns, which is 10 percent higher than Millennials who said the same thing before they were parents. This shift in privacy concerns is likely a result of the added responsibility parents have to their children.
Diving deeper into the research, we found that Millennial parents are often not content with the minimum privacy settings that Facebook offers its users. They want complete control over who sees their pictures and who has access to their information. According to this research conducted by FutureCast, 34 percent of Millennials are at least somewhat concerned about posting pictures of their children online. Only when their Facebook settings are at a secure level are they comfortable to share pictures of their families.
However, like the 60 percent of Millennials who would switch brands pending desired incentives, Millennial Moms are more likely to share personal information about themselves with a brand in return for benefits. This has fueled a market where Big Data reigns supreme. Brands that know the importance of this type of consumer data have an enormous opportunity to create personalized consumer relationships.
Application of Big Data can also support the conception of predictive analytics based on the spending patterns and behaviors of the most loyal customers. This has the potential to provide key insights about product use, rate of purchase, and how often a customer comes into the store or searches a site. Essentially, Big Data provides brands with an understanding of the motivations behind consumer shopping preferences.
Amazon is a great example of a brand that is winning with Millennial Moms because of its strategic use of consumer data. Have you ever wondered how Amazon knows exactly what you need before you need it? The algorithm Amazon uses allows it to learn from past shopping experiences and make recommendations based on your purchase, browsing, and shopping cart history. With this type of sophisticated recommendation system, Millennial Moms feel comfortable sharing their personal and consumer data because they receive valuable benefits and customization in return.
Although Millennial Moms are more private than you think, there are ways to maneuver around privacy concerns in order to learn more about these consumers – but you’ll have to earn it! Sharing useful content is a start but the real treasure lies in what you can do for your customers with the information they have given you access to. When a brand does not utilize the knowledge they have about their consumers, or worse, just starts spamming customers, Millennials will quickly walk away and engage with a brand that can do more for them.