Marketers may not fully understand “the distinctive media and market behavior” of Millennials and Generation Z, according to Scott McDonald, president and CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).
Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), McDonald proposes that clients and agencies too often presume that “the younger cohorts do not care about privacy, and that they are averse to advertising.”
In fact, he suggests, “Consumers already have moved in that direction. Most are willing to have their purchases tracked in loyalty-card programs in exchange for discounts, and their employers install surveillance cameras to provide better security. Digital consumers of all ages seem to be making trade-offs between utility and privacy, but the evidence is weak that there are sharp and systematic age differences – much less true cohort differences.”
While assessing the popularity of ad-blocking software in What Do We Really Know about Attitudes Toward Privacy and Advertisement Avoidance?, he argued, “The reasons have little to do with privacy and everything to do with annoyance.”
“Research to date has failed to demonstrate strong and consistent age differences in attitudes toward privacy and advertisement avoidance – areas where claims of generational difference sometimes are made.”
“Because age differences from cross-sectional data are much easier to verify than abiding generational attributes, we should approach grand claims of persistent generational difference with some skepticism.”
ARF Chief Explores Millennial Myths. (2018, May 11). WARC.