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7 Ways You Can Wow the Discovery Generation



Everyone’s got the term “millennials” coming out of their ears, by now—even millennials, lol. For lack of a better way to carry out the very necessary “chore” of market segmentation, marketers through the years have come up with terms like “Baby Boomers” and Gen X, Y and Z. 

But what about a segment that cuts across age, countries and spending capacity? Impossible, you say? Well, Facebook and Bain & Company have done it in their report titled “Riding the Digital Wave”, which you can download here—and they’ve dubbed this segment the “Discovery Generation”.

But segments, reports and all the data in the world mean little without insights that spur you, and consequently your customers into ultimately profitable action. 

Read on for seven ways you can engage with this new generation, the winning over of which Facebook and Bain say could very well be the make-or-break breakthrough of your own digital marketing.


Who is the Discovery Generation?

“Riding the Digital Wave” defines the Discovery Generation—or “Gen D”, if you’ll pardon the abbreviation—as digital consumers who discover new brands mostly through digital media

These consumers are very much open to trying out their discoveries, particularly since they generally don’t know what they want before embarking on their discovery journeys. Most of the time, Gen D’s end up buying based on what they discover while scrolling through social media, as well as other digital and traditional media.

In preparing their Report, Facebook and Bain talked to almost 13,000 consumers from six Southeast Asian countries, of which

  • 70% don’t know what they want or where to get it when browsing online
  • 76% discover products online rather than traditional media
  • 54% discovered products and brands on social media

                Source: Riding the Digital Wave

These six countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, all of which combined have an emerging middle class of 350 million people projected to have a disposable income of USD300 billion by 2022. At least half are aged 20 to 59, and a third of which are 19 years old or younger.


Dissecting Gen D

Like any market segment, the Discovery Generation may be subdivided into three spending capacity categories of two types of shoppers each, for a total of six consumer types:

6 Gen D consumer types

Source: Riding the Digital Wave

High Spenders make up 36% of the population, Mid Spenders make up 33%, and Low Spenders make up 31%. Evolved Shoppers prioritise convenience over price and are interested in innovative products from other countries. Value Hunters prioritise promotions over deals, and tend to compare prices across different sites.

Gen D may also be classified according to location in terms of Tiers, with Tier 1 shoppers living in sprawling, urbanised national capitals such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila. Tier 2 shoppers live in large, non-capital cities like Ho Chi Minh, Penang and Surabaya, as well as smaller cities, towns and the countryside. 

Now here’s a quick breakdown of Gen D’s according to age: 

Gen D age groups

Source: Riding the Digital Wave

Note that both Evolved Shoppers and Value Hunters may be found in Tier 1 cities, include shoppers in their 30s, and are at the middle-income level. Some countries also have more than one type of shopper than others—Singapore, for instance, has more Evolved and Lifestyle Shoppers while the Philippines has more Value Hunters. 

Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 shoppers also have similar habits across countries, such as discovering brands across social media and checking out both online sites and physical stores when shopping. And because of the openness of Gen D’s across the board to try out their discoveries, there is great opportunity for brands to build customer loyalty.


What Does Discovering Gen D mean for your marketing?

Recognising the enormous growth potential of any brand that can successfully tap into the Discovery Generation, it becomes imperative for businesses aspiring to regional growth to find out how to engage successfully with Gen D. As such, we offer seven ways for not just engaging with this generation, but also making an effective impact.

1. Make the most of social media. If you aren’t already using social media to reach your customers, the rise of the Discovery Generation makes it more crucial than ever. Do your best to keep your Facebook, Instagram, and other business accounts consistently active, explore new platforms, and maximise each platform’s features.

2. Don’t neglect other channels. Social media may be the main method of discovery for Gen D’s, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off on other digital channels, or offline channels, too, for that matter. Don’t forget that the Report notes how this generation also discovers brands on other media such as websites, TV and billboards.

3. Don’t forget the Tier 2 cities. While Tier 1 cities do have more High Spenders, don’t forget how shoppers in Tier 2 cities share similarities with Tier 1’s. Also, depending on your brand and its objectives, Tier 2 and even Tier 3 areas, where people are just starting to shop online, there can be a lot of potential for growth.

4. Explore direct-to-consumer models. “D2C” as it’s fondly called by the smaller, successful online retailers who use it is how these digital upstarts continue to give bigger brands a run for their money. Try to see if this model is something your business could apply for your customers’ convenience and enhanced brand experience.
5. Demonstrate your product quality. Doubts about product quality is one of the main reasons the Report gives for customers turning into detractors. Make sure all your communications, whether on social media or elsewhere, text-based or visual, are consistent in portraying your products or services as superior quality.
6. Showcase what makes your brand unique. The Report says Gen D purchases are “inspiration-based”, which means your brand communications must be able to inspire them with something new or intriguing. Facebook and Bain notes five of the most popular ways businesses fire the imagination of this generation.

Gen D comm angles

Source: Riding the Digital Wave

7. Strengthen your brand loyalty. Having inspired them to make a purchase, brands face the challenge of retaining Gen D customers. The Report notes how many businesses offer discounts, which is great for creating awareness, but not so great for building loyalty. The long-term savings that come with loyalty programmes might be a better way for your brand to nurture potential advocates as well as increase sales.


No matter what you call their generation, there’s no changing the fact that consumers are evolving, and a business either evolves itself and its marketing communications alongside them or loses them to competitors. 

And as the times call for even more online activity and discovery, the time to figure out how to wow your customers of this generation has never been better. Talk to NEO360 to find new ways to engage the Discovery Generation, today.

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