June 22, 2016
It is no secret that millennials love their smartphones. You’ve likely seen dozens of images, gifs, and memes that show how “this generation is terrible” because an entire class field trip of 17-year-olds is looking at their phones instead of the bones of a tyrannosaurus rex. And while the smart device obsession has taken the world by storm, the extent of its popularity is relatively unknown. But one question has put millennials on the spot and the results were fairly expected.
Talk vs. Text
Apparently, most millennials would rather be able to text than talk on their smartphones. According to new research from OpenMarket, 75 percent of millennials would forego the call function on their device as long as they were still able to text. The research polled some 500 millennials in order to come to this conclusion, and, we can all admit, that is far from surprising. The texting generation has used this medium to communicate everything from jubilant happy birthdays to soul-crushing break ups.
The reasons behind the popularity of texting in this generation is three-fold. In terms of this study, subjects found that 76 percent liked texting more than talking because it was more convenient and fit with their schedules better. Similarly, 63 percent found that they think texting is less disruptive to every day life than voice calling, 53 percent generally prefer texting to calling and 19 percent said that they never check voicemail. Again, none of this is surprising as millennials have always valued the art of texting over calling.
What is surprising is that the same data indicated that only 30 percent of these millennials are being marketed through texting. This is even more troubling considering that 75 percent of this generation finds text alerts and notifications helpful in finding deals and remembering appointments.
“As the survey results reveal, companies have a massive opportunity to connect with millennials by communicating via text messaging,” said Jay Emmet, general manager for OpenMarket. “Whether it’s sending them an alert that their package has arrived or offering customer support via texts instead of calls, using SMS allows companies to communicate exactly how and where millennials like.”
This is a huge gap in market need versus market execution. While many Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are likely annoyed by an additional means of electronic communication, millennials are clearly underwhelmed by the amount of stimuli being sent their way. And while businesses fight to break through the white noise of advertising and marketing, this simple step has been waiting at the doorstep for the last two decades. If you want to make waves in your industry without shelling out big bucks for brand new softwares, start texting your millennial clients before someone else does.
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