Young Consumers in the New Marketing Ecosystem:
An Analysis of Their Usage of Interactive Technologies
December 4, 2011
Over the last decade, the way we communicate with each other and the way we behave as consumers has changed drastically. With an entire generation growing up with iPads, iPods, smart phones, Internet and Facebook, marketers are facing the reality that traditional methods of reaching these consumers won’t be as effective as it was in the past. The new challenge of marketers is to attempt to understand how these consumers interact with the technology they were undoubtedly “born to use”.
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Survey answers could also be answered in groups, meaning that a group of friends who received the same survey may converse about what their answers should be.
Based on the study, 428 surveys were completed by 220 business majors and 208 high school students, the study was conducted in a Midwestern college and a Midwestern high school (Engel, Bell, Meier, Martin, & Rumpel, 2011). The sample brought forth by the report is slightly flawed because it was only taken in one part of the country, results of the study would vary region to region. For example, people who live the Northeast have a different culture than those who live in the South; thus, the sample results would be different. Overall, this study showed a significant trend in our modern day society. Consumers are more connected to interactive technologies than they have ever been in our history, starting with some of the youngest members of our society. The study also shows that as consumers get older, they evolve in their use of interactive technology. Which is why the study reflects such a dynamic difference between high school and college aged consumers. The survey method is an effective choice for this study, but the researchers should be aware that respondent error, social desirability bias and respondents conversing with one another may come into play when answering survey questions.
The results for this study rejected all four hypotheses initially stated. The hypotheses stated that there is no difference between high school and college aged students on the following: perceived amount of usage of interactive technology, cell phone/smart phone calls they make and receive each day, text messages sent and received each day and instant messages they sent and received each day (Engel, Bell, Meier, Martin, & Rumpel, 2011). A One-Way ANOVA test, also called a One-Way Analysis of Variance, which is defined as a hypothesis testing technique that is used to compare means from three or more populations (Larson & Farber, 2009), was used to determine results in this study. This type of hypothesis testing is the best method to use when comparing variance in multiple populations, which in this case there were 8 (28). The purpose of the study was to determine or not determine a difference among these groups in their usage of interactive technology; through the ANOVA testing the researchers were able to achieve their goal. A Likert-type scale was also used in conjunction with a multiple regression analysis. The Likert scale used four different factors: Immediacy, Entertainment, Social Interaction and Self Expression, then used a scale of one to four, one being “never heard of” and “four being use regularly” (Engel, Bell, Meier, Martin, & Rumpel, 2011). The validity of this study is questionable, based on two factors: a low alpha level and regional isolation. An alpha level in hypothesis testing, also known as the level of significance, is the maximum allowable probability of making a...