BANGKOK: Thai millennials have felt the effects of economic recession and political uncertainty more than most of their age group, being more than twice as likely as the global average to believe that their standard of living is unlikely to improve in the future.

Almost three quarters (74%) of Thai millennials felt this way, according to IPG Mediabrands, whose 2014 global survey of 10,000 millennials showed that just 31% of millennials worldwide had this particular concern.

Despite the woes of the Thai respondents – 50% said their incomes had fallen and 28% had lost their jobs – they were picking themselves up and making a go of things.

Some were turning to self-employment: 1.2m earn more than Bt 40,000 a year this way, according to Pradon Sirakovit, head of strategy and innovation at IPG Mediabrands Thailand, writing in The Nation.

Others were opting for a different approach as almost one quarter (23%) were holding down two jobs or more.

Despite the evident difficulties of earning a living, fully 77% claimed to have more choices of how to live their lives, ahead of a global average of 69%.

And they are nothing if not flexible in their outlook, as three quarters expected they would change career, again more than twice the global average of 34%.

No doubt as a consequence of this need to devote time and energy to coping with economic conditions, just over half (52%) remained single and 69% did not yet have children.

Sirakovit noted that eight in ten Thai millennials own a smartphone. "It has become an extension of their anatomy, which enables them to promote themselves and even creatively express their products and ideas," he said.

Six in ten also use them to pass judgement on products they have purchased and to inform purchase decisions, with vloggers and bloggers particularly influential in this process.

Brands should empathise with millennials, Sirakovit advised, and involve them in marketing activities and product development.

Warc's 2015 Toolkit observed that millennials, as the first wave of digital natives, are a useful pointer to the future of media consumption – more online, more mobile, more fragmented, more on-demand.

Data sourced from The Nation; additional content by Warc staff