Targeting Transformist Demographic For Gamified Marketing

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A group of multi-generational consumers that are twice as likely to act upon the content they consume, why wouldn’t you focus your marketing efforts on them?

According to research from Digitas and Insider Inc, the group referred to as ‘Transformists’ are a digitally-savvy, demographic defiant, cross-generational cohort of consumers with a greater purchasing intention than most. For some time now, Millennials have been heralded as the most powerful influencers today, and with over $200 billion in purchasing power, it’s understandable why they are viewed that way.

However, transformists are a specific grouping of millennials (in amongst other generational transformists), often referred to as “change-makers” and are united by a proactive mindset. These consumers are adept at using technology to navigate and succeed in the world around them. Curious and connected, they gather information from many sources and use that information to shape their decision-making.

Transformists live by their values and are driven by high expectations-both for themselves and for the people and brands around them. Brands that understand and speak to these Transformers can benefit strongly from their loyalty-and turn them into their most powerful advocates.

“It’s not about age, it’s about mindset,” said Jennifer Berman, SVP of Marketing at Insider Inc. “The key is to understand that this group — transformists — are uniquely savvy and demanding when it comes to seeking information and acting on it.”

So, what should marketers know about boosting engagement with these hyper-connected, socially-conscious consumers?

Transformists Statistics

  • There are currently 38 million Transformists in the US alone, representing 24% of the age grouping the 18 – 54 population.

  • 2/3 of Transformists are Millennials – but only 1/3 of all Millennials are Transformists.

  • 22% of Transformists are African American, 47% have a college degree or higher, and 62% work full time.

  • Transformists are 2x more likely than the general population to act on the content they consume – sharing it, factoring it into their decision making, and applying it to their everyday life.

  • Transformists gather information from 2x more sources than their general-population peers.

  • On a weekly basis, 85% of Transformists seek information on local news, entertainment, current events, national news, and food and cooking.

  • They are 62% more likely to get information from mobile apps, and 33% more likely to get information from social media.

  • 72% use Instagram (vs. 44% of their general population peers)

  • 45% like something daily from a news outlet, and 39% share news stories

  • 39% share brand posts daily and 37% comment on brand posts

  • 59% post online reviews

  • 97% say they like trying new and different experiences, vs 81% of the general population

  • 81% like taking risks in life, vs 60% of the general population

  • 85% see their career as one of the most important things in their life

  • 60% strongly agree “I am always striving to advance my career,” vs 29% of the general population

  • 48% strongly agree a professional goal is “to own my own business,” vs 24% of the general population

  • 95% expect companies to conduct business in an ethical manner

  • 61% are more likely to buy a product if part of proceeds go to a cause they care about

  • 54% say they will pay more if a product is made by a company they trust

  • 90% stick with a brand once they find one they like

So what does this mean for marketers?

5 tips to win over Transformists

  1. Look beyond Millennials. For too long, marketers have been fishing in the same Millennial hot spots – but the swathe of Transformists goes well beyond the 30 year old bracket. Marketers should also speak to Transformist consumers in their 30s, 40s and 50s who share the same go-getter mindset as their younger peers. “In the digital era, sorting people by age misses the boat entirely. Many of the more ambitious ones who grew up in the digital age share in common distinct likes, dislikes and ways of behaving that cross generational lines. The key is to understand that this group – transformists – are uniquely savvy and demanding when it comes to seeking information and acting on it.” – Jennifer Berman, SVP of Marketing at Insider Inc.

  2. Don’t hide your Values. Transformists don’t want or need everything to be politicised – but they value knowing what a brand stands for, what its purpose is, and how it’s working to affect change. Brands should speak authentically and openly about their mission and how they are trying to make a difference beyond their organisation. “Transformists live by their values and are driven by high expectations-both for themselves and for the people and brands around them. Brands that understand and connect with these Transformists can benefit from their loyalty-and turn them into powerful advocates.” – Jonathan Tatlow, EVP, Head of Strategy, Digitas

  3. Become Informative. Transformists are unabashed information-seekers. Brands should choose media platforms for advertising and content that Transformists gravitate towards, and consider engaging them with information that acts as a learning experience and satisfies their curiosity, rather than relying on marketing platitudes. This means educating consumers on both internal and external practices within your company can yield great results.

  4. Appeal to their ambition and adventure. Transformists are self-avowed adventure seekers and go-getters. Brands should find ways for Transformists to seek out new experiences that drive personal growth. Aim to push marketing efforts into unexplored territory, as having a more interactive and hands-on experience for transformists can connect with transformists on a deeper level.

  5. Encourage word of mouth. Transformists are well-versed in issues and products, and well-connected in their communities. Brands can gain their loyalty by encouraging feedback and providing a platform to share informed and respected opinions.


“Marketers today place a lot of importance on reaching millennials, but there are more than 80 million of them, and any group that large defies definition. We believe it’s far more valuable to look at audiences through the filter of mindset and worldview—which is also the best way to identify the truly influential.” -Jenifer Berman.

If you can get your brand to lead with its values and connect with consumers on a deeper level, you will see a greater position of loyalty come from your consumers. Especially in a time of highly politicised issues, easily offended sides and globally aware consumers.

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