Digital promotions are failing to meet expectations, with up to one in three 'Generation C' customers considering advertising as one of their biggest annoyances online, according to a report from content management specialist Infomentum. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The 'Generating success with Generation C' report, which examined the growing digital marketing expectations of over 1000 office workers throughout the UK, considers the role of Generation C as both consumers and corporate employees. Unlike previous generations, the term Generation C does not describe a physical age bracket, but rather a psychographic group.

As so-called 'digital natives', this group is always connected, always communicating, and, as the research findings suggest, they have clear expectations from technology. Globally, most Millennials are Generation C, but on average, 39% of Generation C are aged 35 or over and, as a result, this is a group that makes up a significant percentage of most marketplaces.

Key findings from the report suggest that 30% of Generation C respondents are highly frustrated by online advertising. A further 83.5% listed internet advertising techniques such as pop ups and auto-playing videos in their top five annoyances online. According to the report, this frustration with advertising is largely a result of the two-way dialogue that social media has allowed Generation C to develop with their favourite brands. This two-way communication is rapidly becoming an expectation, with pop-ups and banner ads being considered not only old fashioned, but also an infringement on the browsing experience.

The report showed that 86% of Generation C are regularly using social media sites, however, only 1.5% of those surveyed listed a lack of social media integration as a source of frustration. Similarly, a mere 12% of respondents considered integrated social media feeds to be an important part of corporate websites. As an explanation for this contradiction, the report suggests that continuous access to multiple platforms has resulted in Generation C coming to expect original and varied content across each individual channel. As a result, marketers must focus on creating original output and be careful to avoid duplicating content across multiple feeds.

"Generation C is an influential and creative group of people who can be a great asset to any marketing initiative," concluded Vikram Setia, co-founder of Infomentum. "However, until marketers learn to abandon the out-dated, one-way communication methods of the past they won't succeed in building an effective relationship with their Generation C customers. The internet is a place for connectivity and community, not hard sales tactics."