Millennials Mostly Talk About Brands Offline. Which Media Drive Their W-O-M Impressions?

September 16, 2014

KellerFay-Media-Marketing-References-in-Brand-W-O-M-Sept2014Online recommendations might be as influential as in-person ones, but the vast majority of word-of-mouth (W-O-M) impressions about brands occur offline, at least among Millennials (18-34). That’s according to new figures released by the Keller Fay Group, which show that some 84% of Millennials’ word-of-mouth impressions about brands take place offline – with 71% the result of face-to-face conversations (versus just 3% over social media). So which media and marketing content are spurring these conversations?

Interestingly, 62% of brand conversations among Millennials reference some type of media and marketing content – a higher share than for all other adults (56%). While the top 3 media and marketing references in brand conversations are shared by both Millennials and all others, their roles differ. Not surprisingly, digital media acts as more of a W-O-M driver for Millennials than for other adults, referenced in 25% and 19% of impressions, respectively. (Of note, social media takes a backseat to brand websites and internet ads within the digital media category.)

Second to digital media is TV, referenced in 17% of Millennials’ brand word-of-mouth conversations and 18% of all other adults’ (aged 35-69), suggesting that TV remains a force with this cohort even if they’re watching less than older generations.

Following further behind are point-of-sale (11% Millennials; 10% everyone else) and promotions (10% Millennials; 9% everyone else). Despite the perception that Millennials have shunned traditional media in favor of all things digital, Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to reference magazines, mailings, and radio in their brand-related conversations.

Understanding how and why brands are discussed in Millennials’ conversations is particularly important given research suggesting that word-of-mouth has a high degree of influence on Millennials’ purchase decisions and tends to act as a bigger influence on consumers than any paid or owned media.

About the Data: The data is based on Keller Fay Group’s TalkTrack, from May 2013 through April 2014. TalkTrack is a weekly, diary-based, survey of 700 US 13-69-year-olds that tracks word-of-mouth about 15 marketing-relevant categories. The data in this article is limited to 18-69-year-olds.

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