Age Influences How Customers Process Digital Media

by. Georgann Smith

Did you know each of your customers takes in and processes digital media messages differently depending on age? A new study by Nielsen NeuroFocus identified important differences in how Millennials, or members of Gen Y, engage with and retain marketing messages compared to older consumers.

How the study was conducted is actually pretty fascinating: Nielsen NeuroFocus experts noted the electrical-current fluctuations in the brains of study participants as they consumed online advertising campaigns. They found Millennials responded more strongly to dynamic ads than to static ads as compared to study participants in the Baby Boomer age group.

For Baby Boomers, the online ads were perceived as chaos or clutter. Millennials, on the other hand, were found to better engage with the rapid movement of information. The study concluded that younger brains have the ability to switch tasks and integrate information much more quickly than those of older generations. Perhaps this indicates younger customers want more action, more activity.

The study also found younger customers seem to be better at suppressing distractions or ignoring information they don’t deem relevant. In other words, Millennials are very selective in what they choose to pay attention to. For us marketers, this insight proves what we have already begun to suspect — that we must work harder to get Millennials to pay attention to our messages.

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