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Marketing trends: The rise of the ‘data generation’

20th Oct 2014
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Millennials are giving the White House sleepless nights, if the recent 49 page US Government document is anything to go by.

The main issue is that the cohort of Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s (referred to as millennials or gen-Y) are now the largest generation in the US, representing one-third of the total population in 2013, yet seemingly the toughest to understand. Though slightly lower, this figure is thought to be roughly 25% globally, and the generation is predicted to make up as much as 75% of the global workforce by 2025.

A number of recent studies have focused in on millennials as a labour force, and in the book Understanding Y by Charlie Caruso, millennials are painted as a generation “most averse to working long hours, preferring a more flexible approach to the working day” with little loyalty towards employers and a more flexible approach to jobs that puts satisfaction before salary.

However, according to the above-mentioned White House report, one thing millennials are is technology-driven, due to the falling costs of creating and distributing digital content and the generation’s position as pioneers in production, as well as consumption, of technology. This, states a new study from Hotwire, is making 18-35 year olds increasingly data-focused in all forms of work, as a result. 

Generation Data

Launched during AMEC’s Measurement Week, Hotwire surveyed business leaders across various age and industry groups to find that the under-35s are becoming more and more inclined to use data to as the basis for making business decisions and gleaning insight – far more than any other age group, and increasingly within the marketing department.    

In fact, two out of three (65%) under-35s say they use data primarily for planning, and they are also the group most likely to embrace the 24/7 mentality (59%) and the most trusting of data coming from their own department (71%); so much so that Hotwire wants to dub the under-35s ‘Generation Data’.

“Marketeers are now waking up to the real benefits of data," says Brendon Craigie, CEO of Hotwire.

“Not simply using it reactively to measure performance, but gaining invaluable insight at the planning stage to ensure campaign success from the outset – and then all the way through to completion. That is true measurement at its best.”

With so many businesses focusing their strategy around data, a number of job roles, from shop assistant to marketer are forecast to become far more data-led. However, at present, finding specialists in data science capable of dropping into such a diverse set of job roles is, ITPro Portal recently stated, almost akin to stumbling across a unicorn, which is what has led so many millennials in marketing roles into teaching themselves the necessary skills to become better at analysing data at work.    

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