In Germany, Millennials' Divided Attention Spans Lead Marketers to Multiscreen Strategies - eMarketer
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In Germany, Millennials' Divided Attention Spans Lead Marketers to Multiscreen Strategies


Dr. Tanja Boga
Unit Director on Innovation and Tool Development
Mediaplus

Millennials in Germany follow their favorite content across screens and platforms throughout their day, and brand marketers perform better if they can keep up with them. eMarketer’s Sean Creamer spoke with Dr. Tanja Boga, unit director on innovation and tool development at advertising agency Mediaplus, about how the company has shifted its media plans to reflect the ways millennials in Germany consume media.

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eMarketer: Are millennials in Germany consuming print media at all, or are they fully digital?

Dr. Tanja Boga: Print, especially newspapers, is losing reach quite drastically with millennials. Newspapers reach around 35% of 14- to 29-year-olds. Magazines, on the other hand, reach 86% of this target group. In print especially, there is a shift away from classic print to digital offerings from historically print media. We found this out through basic research we conducted on the video consumption behaviors of millennials for a German distributor of cinema movies.

eMarketer: How has this changed the way you target millennials?

Boga: We’ve substituted traditional print planning with online offers. For instance, daily newspaper BILD-Zeitung has a high net reach with most demographics. But when we target younger groups, we use their digital content.

eMarketer: Is the mobile device the best way to reach millennials in Germany?

Boga: The smartphone is the central touchpoint for digital natives in Germany. Eighty-six percent of millennials use a smartphone on a daily basis. For comparison, only 19% of digital natives in Germany use tablets and 33% use laptops. On average, they own 4.4 devices for internet usage.

“We try to do branding and storytelling across large screens ... and then use smartphones to convert millennials and get them to buy.”

eMarketer: What roles do TV and mobile each play for advertisers?

Boga: Mobile brings certain challenges for media agencies because the smartphone is a lean-forward device you interact with to get things done. When there’s an advertisement, especially if it’s not appropriate to the device, it’s perceived as annoying. We try to do branding and storytelling across large screens, like TVs and smart TVs, and then use smartphones to convert millennials and get them to buy.

eMarketer: Has TV’s reach suffered the same way print’s reach has in Germany?

Boga: News articles in Germany have hypothesized that TV will die out with millennials, but through the research we conducted, we found that this is not the case. Millennials consume linear TV for an average of 2 hours a day. Plus, the net reach of linear TV is nearly 50% of millennials.

eMarketer: Do millennials in Germany follow television schedules, or do they tune in when it’s convenient for them?

Boga: Digital natives follow the content on whatever station or streaming provider provides them with what they’re looking for. Millennials still use the TV because they see it as a lean-back medium, and sometimes they prefer to watch whatever is on. It’s not always lean-forward for them. Overall, millennials’ video content consumption is increasing.

“Millennials still use the TV because they see it as a lean-back medium, and sometimes they prefer to watch whatever is on.”

eMarketer: Is the cost of reaching millennials over TV getting difficult for marketers to scale?

Boga: TV is a powerful channel, and we can increase the reach of a campaign and build branding through it across demographics. But in younger target groups—specifically millennials—we can gain a certain reach quite easily, but the cost per reach point is very high. We suggest a combined TV and online video campaign strategy called screen planning for our clients.

eMarketer: Where do marketers in Germany have the best opportunity to reach millennials?

Boga: It’s definitely on social media platforms. However, Facebook is losing in its function as a messenger with digital natives. We found that 90% to 91% of millennials have a Facebook account, but usage and intensity are dropping rapidly. Facebook isn’t the first channel we would use. We suggest Snapchat or Instagram.

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