Millennials More Willing Than Boomers to Share Data With Marketers

March 10, 2014

Mintel-Willingness-Share-Info-with-Marketers-Mar20146 in 10 US Millennials claim that they would be willing to share personal information with marketers, while Baby Boomers would be much less likely to do so, according to results from a Mintel study. That gap even extends to those unwilling to share information: at least 30% of Millennials who would not provide private information said they would be swayed by an incentive offer, while only 13% of reluctant Baby Boomers agreed. A separate study [pdf] from Communispace comes to similar conclusions. Indeed, when Communispace asked respondents whether they would share their data for perks, Millennials (in this case, aged 13-31) were most likely to agree, with that likelihood decreasing with each generation. Similarly, younger generations were the most likely to say they would voluntarily share personal data with a company in exchange for a 5% price discount.

The Mintel study, meanwhile, broke out willingness to share various types of information, finding that:

  • Millennials are about twice as likely as Baby Boomers to share cell phone numbers (30% vs. 14%);
  • The younger group is almost 3 times as likely to share social media profiles (27% vs. 10%); and
  • They’re about twice as likely to share credit scores (17% vs. 8%), considered the most private information.

Boomers were as likely as their younger counterparts to share their mailing addresses, though (40% and 38%, respectively).

The general trend towards more sharing among youth – particularly when perks are involved – echoes findings from a USC study released last year.

Other Findings:

  • According to the Communispace study, 86% of respondents would click a “do not track” button were it available.
  • At the same time, 70% would voluntarily share personal data for a 5% discount.
  • Only 13% of respondents approve of the buying and selling of data.
  • According to the Mintel survey, 42% of Millennials feel that buying something that makes them feel good about themselves is very important, a figure which rises to 52% among Millennial fathers.

About the Data: Communispace conducted this study during the summer of 2013, with 8,343 participants across 52 of Communispace’s private online communities. Methodologies included two open-ended, threaded discussions and one 16-question survey. Group difference tests were performed with age, gender, and country as independent factors.

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