Millenials Trust Information on Websites More Than on Social Media, Says EXP Report

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 …As it Partners REACH Technologies to Unveil Millenial Brand-App

By Jeremiah Agada

L-R: Otome Oyo, Client Service & Strategy Director, Carol Abade Group CEO; Rosemary Akpo, Managing Director, Nigeria and David Boon, Deputy CEO, all of EXP Group and JR Kanu, Chief Executive, REACH Technologies.

Startling revelations from a recent multi-city millennial survey conducted by leading pan-African experiential agency, Exp in partnership with REACH Technologies, a transaction informatics firm,  has revealed that Millenials have a higher level of trust for information  emanating from websites than they do from information on social media.

According to the researchers, the study represents the views of over 20 million urban Africans between the ages of 20 and 35. Collected simultaneously across Lagos, Nairobi, and Accra, it leveraged the REACH transaction informatics platform to accurately identify and elicit input from young Africans – the first time a study of this accuracy and relevance has been simultaneously conducted, and automated. With thousands of millenials as study sample, Lagos alone accounted for over 11,000 people studied. The study covered such areas as millenials’ aspirations, motivation, share of wallet-income and expenditure, preferences, drive among others.

The study revealed that Lagos millenials still view websites as the most trusted and accurate information as indicated by an overwhelming 56% of them while social media and other eight platforms shared the remaining percentage. Also startling is the fact that only 7% of millenials believe that newspapers are trusted and give accurate information.

Also, as against the general but unfounded consensus that millenials depend on friends and social media when seeking counsel, the study reveals that 74% of these people will rather seek counsel from a parent or a family member than pastors-2%, friends-6% or social media bloggers-1%.

Relatedly, the study revealed that social media bloggers, music celebrities and even pastors rank low on their radar of trust. Given the meteoric rise of social media bloggers and influencers as carriers of brand messages, it is alarming to see the level of mistrust that African millenials have for social media personalities and celebrities. The very wide study also contains many other startling revelations that will disrupt the approaches to marketing to the African Millenial.

The study’s findings were shared with an exclusive line-up of marketing executives and professionals in a series of three invite-only events across in Lagos, yesterday.  Earlier, it was shared with marketing professionals in Accra Ghana, while the next one will be shared in Nairobi on Friday, 12 July.

In an exclusive interview with Brand Communicator, Carol Abade, the Group CEO of EXP explained that the focus on millenials is due to their enormous influence. “Millenials are going to be Africa’s demographic dividend. It is a population that is going to change the landscape within the continent. This is a society of people that are better educated, have access to better health, are less dependent and have more disposable income.

“They are more likely to shift the game than any other previous generation. They can also adapt quickly to technology and use it to leverage on the way they interact with business, the economy and information.  Their ambitions outmatch their spending power but their influence is far bigger than what has been seen before. Brands must tap into the right channels to use them as their influential base for the bigger spenders, the bigger middle class and how they make sure as they grow into a bigger middle class by interacting with them in a way that is relevant,” she advised.

While giving the rationale behind the study, David Boon, Deputy CEO of EXP revealed that the foremost African experiential agency has always been at the forefront of running thought leaderships and the study is just in line with it.

“For the past ten years, we have run the Experiential Marketing Summit also in Lagos. We have taken a slight change in our approach where we are looking at specific studies we think are relevant to marketers on individual basis. From that perspective, when we met Reach Technologies and looked at how they can track information, it made a lot of sense to reach a partnership and work with them. Most of the research we have available to African marketers across the continent are often researches done in Europe or the United States. For us, it is important that we have relevant local insight that is about our continent and cities,” he said.

 In the same vein, Rosemary Akpo, Managing Director, EXP Nigeria, explained that the study was carried out to examine the many stereotypes held about millenials overtime and relate to empirical findings that will be beneficial to marketers when marketing to the generation. People believe different things about these millenials. “Among other things, we also wanted to take a chance at really truly understanding them, whether those views are justified or factually true, hence the study. We wanted to find out they are truly lazy, they feel entitled, etc., because these things drive the kind of experiences you create for them. If you don’t understand someone, you cannot create something truly for them that connects them,” she said.

 Based on findings of the study, Boon, made a presentation on ’10 Marketing Approaches for Winning at Casino Millenial.’ These approaches he identified as optimizing for mobile, letting the audience be your star, appealing to their values, focusing on ‘Word-of-Relevant-Mouth and committing to authentic sampling to build passion and trust. Others are Selling purpose instead of products, Appealing to their FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and frugality, listening to them, transparency and giving them something to remember.

 In a related development, the agency also in collaboration with REACH Technologies launched a new app, the Millenial Brand-App. According to JK Kanu, the Chief Executive of the firm, the app is made to assist brands better understand and interact with millenials. According to him, the app is designed to “help brands craft coherent strategies for approaching the African millennial.”

Established in South Africa in 1982, EXP has led the development of experiential marketing across the continent, as Africa’s largest and leading Experiential Marketing Agency. The expansion into the rest of the continent started in 1995, with the opening of EXP Kenya office as the first office launched outside of South Africa.

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