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Younger internet users force advertisers to reconsider personalization tactics

In the online world, trends change almost as fast as digital marketing professionals can keep up with them. New platforms emerge every day and user preferences are in a state of constant flux.

Video platform VidMob recently surveyed 1,000 millennials (individuals aged between 25 and 34) and 1,000 Gen Z (individuals aged between 16 and 24) about their online behaviour and social media and video marketing preferences. The results suggest that traditional personalization tactics – matching by age, ethnicity, and gender; including the person’s name – may not appeal to younger consumers.

“Social users are bombarded with content, and it’s harder than ever for advertisers to capture attention, particularly the attention of Gen Z,” VidMob Chief Marketing Officer Stephanie Bohn told Marketing Land’s Robin Kurzer. “This report has implications for marketers looking to connect with younger audiences. Demographics and celebrity factor also influence likeability, but sense of style is the leading factor.”

Fifty-five per cent of respondents said they prefer digital marketing ads that showcased styles or tastes similar to their own, while 45 per cent approved of ads featuring a celebrity. Forty-one per cent of Gen Z responded to ads they found ‘visually beautiful,’ as did 32 per cent of millennials.

Social media use is prevalent in both age groups, of course. In particular, 70 per cent of Gen Z respondents said they regularly watch ‘Stories’ on Instagram or Snapchat.

The survey also discovered some pet peeves among the two age groups. Forty-four per cent of Gen Z and 34 per cent of millennials dislike repetitive ads. Almost half of millennials prefer shorter videos, while Gen Z wants better music in their ads.

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