Associated Media Publishing | Digital, driven and change-makers - #CosmoMillennials - Associated Media Publishing
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Digital, driven and change-makers – #CosmoMillennials

Digital, driven and change-makers – #CosmoMillennials

Cosmopolitan South Africa released the findings of its first #CosmoMillennials survey. Aimed at better understanding its growing Millennial audience, the online survey was completed by over 3 400 respondents, who submitted more than 34 000 open-ended responses. The Cosmopolitan ‘Why Millennials Matter’ survey is the most comprehensive survey the magazine brand has conducted in recent years.

“We are very pleased with the high number of responses we’ve received,” says Cathy Lund, editor of Cosmopolitan. “The data not only gives us a good insight into the Cosmo millennial market, but also the general trends in the millennial market in South Africa. The great response is also an indication of this market’s desire to actively participate in shaping the world around them. We will use the findings from the survey to further mould our content and platform expansion over the next few years.”

New York-based Millennial expert and consultant, Joan Snyder Kuhl, joined Cosmopolitan this week to present the findings and insights to key stakeholders. Says Kuhl, “The South African Millennial market compares well with global trends. Millennials are digitally savvy, career-focused and loyal to brands that share their values and evolve to meet the demands of their lifestyle.”

The online #CosmoMillennial Survey was conducted during July this year. The demographic of the responses include:

  • Age breakdown – 18-20 (7 %), 21-25 (37%), 26-29 (32%), 30-34 (24%)
  • They are economically active: 78% are employed; 60% work full time; 28% are studying
  • Home Language: 44% English; 31% Black language, 22% Afrikaans
  • 79% live in the key economic centres: 36% Gauteng, 25% W Cape, 18% KwaZulu Natal


Digital trailblazers

“Having grown up wired, the world’s Millennials have a different relationship to technology and globalisation than the previous generation,” adds Kuhl. “Worldwide, 69% of Millennials believe ‘technology creates more opportunities for all.’ Whereas many workers in past periods viewed technology change and globalisation as forces that might take away their jobs, Millennials tend to heartily support these dynamic forces. That may presage global changes in the politics of trade and attitudes toward life-long learning and career change.”

Data from the Cosmo Millennials Survey indicate that:

  • 55% check a social media site, browse the web, use an app, make a call/text on their phone more than 20 times a day
  • 45% use a cell phone/smartphone and PC/desktop/laptop on a daily basis. 22% use these devices, as well as tablet on a daily basis
  • They are actively using multiple online platforms:
  • 59% Facebook
  • 55% WhatsApp
  • 27% Twitter
  • 26% YouTube
  • 25% Instagram
  • 21% Pinterest
  • 74% choose to connect with companies on social media. Convenience, ease of use, and keeping up to date are the main drivers
  • Spending time online is driven by socialising with friends as well as family, learning something new, news updates as well as sharing content
  • 93% have a Smart Phone
  • 76% access social media/web via their cell phone


Shopping goes mobile

“For Millennials, shopping today involves multiple mediums – in store, online and mobile,” says Kuhl. The Cosmo Survey confirmed that the local market is following US trends in this category. 56% of respondents indicated that they shop online. They bought predominantly clothes, books, shoes and beauty products.


Brand ambassadors

Millennials are brand loyal and will adopt brands as their own, if they share the same values. The brand experience should be all-engaging and the emphasis is now on brands to deliver an unparalleled experience, across platforms and events.

The Cosmo Millennials indicated that if they attended an event in South Africa or around the world, they want music, fashion, beauty or free products as part of the experience.

Some of the top brands mentioned in the Cosmo Millennials Survey include:

  • Coca-Cola and Lipton Iced Tea are their favourite beverage brands
  • Woolworths, McDonalds, Nando’s and KFC are their favourite food brands
  • Nike makes them feel strong
  • Guess, Woolworths and Cadbury makes them feel happy


Financially savvy

“Merging their tech savvy prowess with the doom and gloom outlook in the employment market, Millennials have become extremely savvy in their spending strategies,” adds Kuhl. “The Cosmo survey provided us with insights that brands and even banks can’t afford to ignore.  We learned more about how this generation spends their money, how they earn it and what they will save every last Rand for.  Short-term spending behaviours are both emotional yet functional and their ultimate conservative price habits do not seem to damper their ambitious goals. “

The Cosmo Millennials indicated that:

  • 96% have a bank account
  • 62% have bought something that was out of their budget
  • 62% are saving for something
  • 51% have a current account
  • 40% have a savings account


Dream career and highly ambitious

“In the US Millennials rely on friends and family who are huge influences in helping to research career options,” adds Kuhl. “However, in South Africa, friends provided very little influence over which field Millennials chose as their desired career and their field of study.

“We found this interesting because many people would assume that Millennials care the most about what their friends think, but when it comes to their career choice, they don’t have as much of an impact.  South African Millennials in the Cosmo survey cited ‘Impact on Society’ as their number one, followed by ‘anticipated lifestyle’.”

Cosmo Millennials are highly ambitious,

  • 31% expect to be promoted after one to two years in their current position.
  • Their career motivation is driven predominantly by money, making a difference and lifestyle.
  • Their dream careers include being the boss of a company or being their own boss.


They love Cosmo

“We could not resist asking for feedback on the Cosmo brand in the survey,” says Lund. “We were blown away by the positive response and desire of the millennial tribe to be part of the magazine and to see it grown.Cosmo is still seen as the feminist’s bible, a magazine that encourages female independence and which plays a big role in motivating young woman to empower themselves. We are looking forward to co-creating our world with this young audience.”

Feedback on the Cosmo brand:

  • “fun,fearless female” remember… Aradhana
  • “A funky fresh approach to fashion, celebs, lifestyle, beauty and so much more” – Soraya
  • “A good read, great advice, good entertainment, information I can rely on and consistency in good articles” – Eubia
  • “A woman’s best friend!!!” – Sonet
  • “Authenticity, originality and freedom” – Hayley
  • “Beauty, Style, A step above the rest” – Carmen
  • “Cosmopolitan inspires me to dig into my girly side & to be a fun, fearless female” – Vanessa
  • “Fresh, unique, inspiring” – Mthembeni
  • “Fun, a little loopy…like that weird friend you love to hang out with” – Reratilwe
  • “Keeping up with what it means to be a modern day young lady. Class.” – Zandile
  • “My all in 1 store” – Phindile
  • “Sexy, sophisticated, informative and glam” – Tshepo
  • “Young, stylish, confident, sexy” – Bonnie

For more on the #CosmoMillennials Survey, contact Julia Pretorius on 021 464 6389 or

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