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Millennials ‘most willing to trust marketing’

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

‘Millennials’ appear to be the most willing to trust marketing messages, having significantly higher levels of trust than older generations, according to new research.

Millennials most willing to trust marketing

The study, from the Data & Marketing Association’s (DMA) highlights some key differences between generational groups in terms of their marketing preferences and levels of trust.

On average, 53% of ‘Millennials’ trust marketing mediums, compared with just 40% for ‘Gen X’ and 29% for ‘Baby-boomers’. Baby-boomers are less trusting across almost all the marketing channels surveyed for, except messages received by mail (53%) or in face-to-face interactions (50%) – the latter is something all generations appear to have a high level of trust with.

Email is the most trusted medium from the Millennials’ perspective, with over two-thirds (69%) trusting this source.

“While email still leads the way across all generations, in terms of preference and trust, beyond this central channel there is a myriad of ways brands could engage customers. The differences between generations highlight key trends that brands should be aware of when planning their marketing campaigns,” said Tim Bond, Head of Insight, DMA.

“This analysis also highlights the potentially virtuous cycle of improving customers’

perception of trust, for example, on the preference and relevance for each channel.”

‘Gen Z’s’ high trust in messages received by phone (44%) and video (56%) appears to go some way to explaining why these channels are significantly more preferred by this generational cohort.

Marketing preferences and relevance

Email is the most popular channel to receive marketing messages from brands – with 73% of consumers ranking it in their top two preferences.

However, there is a marked difference in this generationally. While email is the channel preferred most by Gen Z (45%), it is far less pronounced in comparison to other age groups. This figure may be influenced by a preference to receive brand content through other channels like social media (37%), video (25%), and even phone calls (19%). Gen Z is also more likely to report messages received via social media (56%) and video (59%) as relevant.

At the other end of the generational spectrum, Baby-boomers prefer email (88%) and mail (52%) significantly more. This older group of consumers are also significantly less likely to find the marketing messages they receive through many of the channels asked about as relevant – with just email (63%) on a par with other generations.

Millennials are the generational cohort most likely to find marketing messages relevant across all the channels asked about within the survey.


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