The Smartphone Generation Gap Isn't So Large After All

For most marketers, the word Millennial is synonymous with mobile. If they want to engage with Millennials (consumers ages 18 to 34) to drive brand awareness or purchases, mobile must be a focus.
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This post is co-authored by Nicole Dvorak, Data Scientist at Forrester Research

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For most marketers, the word Millennial is synonymous with mobile. If they want to engage with Millennials (consumers ages 18 to 34) to drive brand awareness or purchases, mobile must be a focus. The average Millennial uses their smartphone for a total of 77 hours and 30 minutes per month - that's more than 2 hours per day on average! And although they access more than twice as many unique mobile sites as apps, they spend nearly three times as many minutes using apps as browsing mobile sites.

We already know that there is a strong relationship between age and use of mobile devices (and technology) more broadly. Not only are adoption rates of smartphones higher for younger consumers compared to non-Millennials, these youngsters also spend more time using them and access them from more locations. Marketers are right to think mobile first when targeting Millennials.

But wait! Marketing professionals can't just forget about those consumers who aren't Millennials in the context of mobile. These older consumers make up the majority of smartphone owners (58%) and account for more than half of all minutes spent on smartphones. More importantly, a recent Forrester report asserts that non-Millennials own 79% of retail dollars spent. All in, marketers should establish smartphones as a primary method to connect with Millennials now but as older consumers eventually reach comparable adoption and engagement levels on smartphones, marketers' focus should shift to this more lucrative cohort.

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