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TWICE/Mode Media Exclusive: Millennials Lead In CE Neediness

BRISBANE, CALIF. — CE manufacturers should focus their promotional firepower on millennials to get the biggest bang for their marketing buck.

The group, generally described as those born between the 1980s and the turn of the century, is more inclined to covet electronics than its younger Gen X cohort and the older baby boomer generation, according to a survey conducted exclusively for TWICE by digital content and advertising provider Mode Media.

The new media company, based here, is uniquely positioned for the task, as its online efforts reach 14 million consumers who are currently in the market to purchase CE products within the next six month, ComScore confirmed.

Mode Media poll partners Millward Brown Digital and Qualtrics queried 4,500 respondents in mid-October about their holiday wish lists for the 2013 and 2014 Christmas selling season, and found that millennials led in CE neediness across every major product category — and by a significant margin over their younger and older counterparts.

Specifically, members of the group are 1.5 times more likely than Gen Xers to want technology, and twice as likely as boomers to desire electronics this season.

The gap was widest for gaming consoles, smart watches and headphones, which are marketed more directly toward youth, Mode said, while tablets and laptops were the most in-demand items across all demographics, followed by mobile phones and cameras.

Another consumer sector, households with children, similarly led in demand for CE over households without kids living in the home.

Most wished for millennial tech include laptops and tablets, at 22 percent of respondents each; gaming consoles at 19 percent; mobile phones at nearly 16 percent; and cameras at 14 percent.

Tablets topped boomers’ wish lists at nearly 13 percent, followed by laptops (12 percent), mobile phones (8 percent) and TVs (7 percent).

Tablets were also the most desired tech toy for Gen Xers, cited by 18 percent of the youngest respondents, followed closely by laptops at 17 percent and gaming consoles at 14 percent.

Conversely, despite high industry expectations for 4K TV, the cutting-edge display technology ranked lowest among nearly all CE wants across every age group.

Smart watches and e-readers also registered low single-digit interest by most respondents.

The survey also revealed that consumers are stingier when it comes to CE. Tech items topped respondents’ holiday wish lists twice as often as items on their gift lists, indicating that consumers are more likely to consider purchasing electronics devices for themselves than for others.

Of the three age brackets, millennials appear to be the most giving when it comes to CE, leading their generational counterparts in gifting intention across all tech categories save for fitness watches and gaming consoles, two areas they preferred to indulge in themselves.

For Gen Xers, top picks for gifts included gaming consoles, tablets and headphones, while boomers cited tablets and laptops and their preferred seasonal gifts.

Not surprisingly, households with children are 1.8 times more likely to purchase CE as gifts than adults without kids living in the home.

Drilling down into specific categories, Mode found that opportunity especially abounds for smart watches. Less than 1 percent of consumers currently own one, and 68 percent of respondents indicated they are either somewhat or very likely to purchase the device. Once again millennials lead the pack here: Members are twice as likely to want a smart watch as a Gen Xer, and almost four times more likely than boomers, the survey showed.

Less popular for holiday are mobile phones. Only 9 percent of cellphone users said they are looking to upgrade their mobile devices during the Christmas season, although one-fourth of those said they are considering the iPhone 6 Plus.

Asked about phone features, 35 percent cited screen size as the most important factor when purchasing or upgrading a phone, although battery life, memory and camera features were all top-of-mind for consumers overall.

Click here for a slideshow of the study’s results.