Retail and Anticipatory Inspiration: Delivering ‘What’s-Next’ Mobile Moments to Millennial and Gen Z Shoppers

Julie Bernard
Julie Bernard
Guest Contributor

Mobile Prodigies seek immersive content that helps them take new leaps as participants in the mobile economy, and marketers and brands must build data-driven experiences that inspire these shoppers, delivering highly relevant and anticipatory brand moments.

As a multi-generational demographic, Mobile Prodigies — Millennial and Gen Z consumers, aged 14–29 — are ready for nothing less than anticipatory inspiration. As they employ their mobile devices as muse, stylist, and retail-inspiration hub, Mobile Prodigies expect brands and marketers to find continuously new ways to introduce them to products, ideas, and experiences.

As the future of consumer buying-power – Millennials represent at least $200 billion in annual spend and Gen Z is reported to have $44 billion in annual U.S. potential alone – there is a great deal at stake. Mobile Prodigies can’t be relegated to reactive tactics and promotional offers.

Embracing anticipatory inspiration begins with what Mobile Prodigies say they want most from data-driven experiences. In the sections that follow, we turn to what this means and to what retail stands to gain when it gets its approach to Mobile Prodigies right.

Anticipatory Inspiration: Defining the Data-Driven Experience for Mobile Prodigies

In The Rise of Mobile Prodigies, a recent Verve white paper, 71 percent of the young consumers polled said they prefer to receive ads that are customized to their location.1 In the same survey, 80 percent said they expect tailored mobile ads that not only target location but also recognize their interests and habits – who they are and how they self-identify.

Indeed, Mobile Prodigies crave a sense of discovery in their shopping experiences. Marketers know, for example, as Forbes reports, that Millennials are interested in an element of risk.2 These consumers, in one example, told the publication that they were willing to cross town to try an artisanal donut, even if it might sell out. Millennials will similarly take chances such as waiting in a line for a pop-up retail event, even if there’s no guarantee they will get into the store.

This is key to how anticipatory inspiration works – incorporating location, context, and then suggesting the next leap, even if it means taking a risk – prompting Mobile Prodigies with experiences they haven’t had, or that they haven’t thought of yet.

Letting the Data Sing: Anticipatory Inspiration Drives Shares and Data Permissions

When Mobile Prodigies have the opportunity to discover, own, and share fresh products, services, and ideas with their peers, more than one-quarter of the respondents in Verve’s research said they would send screenshots of innovative and relevant mobile creative to friends.

Furthermore, if presented with deeply relevant advertising, 60 percent of Mobile Prodigies said they would agree to one or more of the following: a) downloading a free app; b) connecting the app to their Facebook account; c) sharing location data; d) sharing fitness and sleep data.

Additionally, the power of relevance is so strong that when Mobile Prodigies engage with highly contextual apps and mobile creative, these experiences can turn a data-permissions “no” into a “yes.” One-third of Mobile Prodigies said they would reverse their data-sharing stance from no to yes if doing so meant more relevant ads, experiences, and offers.

Mobile Prodigies are seeking immersive content that helps them take new leaps as participants in the mobile economy. Marketers and brands must build data-driven experiences that inspire these shoppers, delivering highly relevant and anticipatory brand moments, the kind that Mobile Prodigies have come to expect – and that they’ll demand in the future.

Note: A version of this article first appeared at MediaPost Engage:Millennials, “Mobile Prodigies Are Ready for Anticipatory Inspiration.” Ed.

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