Lindsey Noble, senior research manager at Buzzfeed, discussed this subject at The Market Research Event (TMRE) in Focus 2018.
Based on a poll of more than 4,000 consumers in the 18- to 45-year-old age range in the US, UK, Australia and Brazil, she reported that “adulting” was a striking theme.
This process is essentially a hit-and-miss – and sometimes decades-long – quest that defies the neat milestones and targeting of life-stage marketing.
“All the rules of the road to being an adult have really gone out the window for this younger generation,” Noble said. “Marketers can’t associate a particular age with a particular life stage anymore.” (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: BuzzFeed seeks to identify consumers challenged by “adulting”.)
The traditional model of becoming an adult has changed drastically, Noble continued, “from adulthood being a point in time to adulthood being a process that is ongoing, that you are constantly navigating.”
Brands can thus benefit by reaching out to these in-between consumers as they make their way, offering knowledge-based content that feeds their yearning for competence and confidence.
“We’re seeing a huge rise in digital and social in helping them navigate the path to adulthood,” said Noble. “People are Googling things from ‘How to boil an egg,’ to ‘How do I start a 401K?’ to ‘How many times a week should I wash my hair?’”
Resourceful marketers have long targeted the right message to the right people at the right time, and this is a vital strategy in the “adulting” space. “It’s not just about selling them a brand or a product,” Noble said. “They actually need help.”
Against this backdrop, marketers can step in to provide particular information that connects with a wide range of consumers who may feel the need to develop their skills and knowledge.
Sourced from WARC