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OPINION3 May 2013

Are millennials paying attention?

Opinion

Vision Critical’s Hannah Mumby follows up ‘The great Gen Y debate’ with the results of a study showing how millennials are engaging with the survey process.

At Vision Critical, we conducted some research of our own to study where respondents were when they were taking surveys, and what other activities they were doing at the same time. Of the 2,025 respondents interviewed, 92% took the survey at home, 5% while at work and 2% somewhere else. But what about the millennial cohort?

“While location may not directly impact survey results, it’s important to consider the implications that multi-tasking might have. Two-thirds of the Gen Y sample said they were doing something else while completing the survey”

According to the research, 87% of Gen Y took the survey at home, 5% at work and 7% somewhere else. Of those who took the survey somewhere else, 27% said it was on a bus or a train. This number significantly decreases as respondents get older. When looking specifically at where the respondents were when they were taking the survey, 54% of millennials were in a bedroom. This number declined with older respondents who were more likely to take the study in a lounge/living room.

While location may not directly impact survey results, it’s important to consider the implications that multi-tasking might have. Two-thirds of the Gen Y sample said they were doing something else while completing the survey, compared to 69% of over 65s who were concentrating solely on the task in hand. This suggests that millennials are more likely to be distracted while taking surveys. This is an important factor for researchers to consider as survey content, design and results may vary according to age. When asked what they were doing when completing the survey, most respondents were watching TV, a figure which remained fairly consistent across all age ranges. However, 22% of Gen Y were using other websites or apps. This significantly decreased with age.

On average, a desktop computer is the most frequently used device for completing surveys, however young Gen Y members were the least likely of all those surveyed to use a personal computer. Nearly 25% of the Gen Y sample used mobile devices (phones and tablets) to complete the survey. This figure decreases slowly between the ages of 25 and 44, at which point 20% are completing the survey using a mobile device. By comparison, 92% of over 55 year olds were using personal computers.

Internet Explorer was the most popular browser overall, with 39% respondents using it. However among millennials Google Chrome was the most popular browser. Only 17% of young Gen Y members used Internet Explorer, while Firefox was relatively stable across all age groups.

So what did we learn? That millennials are more likely to multi-task and therefore be easily distracted when taking surveys, something researchers need to take into consideration. We also saw that when targeting a younger audience, mobile is important – and with mobile adoption likely to increase across all age groups, researchers need to be particularly proactive with mobile to avoid losing the interest of survey participants.

As Skilbeck noted in the earlier Gen Y debate, online insight communities are a great way of facilitating ongoing research. However, creating engaging questions and giving respondents access to these communities via mobile is vital.

Hannah Mumby is a sales and marketing executive at Vision Critical

1 Comment

6 years ago

Very interesting article, Hannah. We always run surveys for clients asking where, when, who with... they interact with such and such product. But your research on the research itself is really helpful for our industry to undertand how we can improve the way we ask our questions. Very nice

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