*Mohamad-Noor Salehhuddin Sharipudin, Kim-Shyan Fam & Aaron Gazley
Our study employed the Generational Cohort Theory as an alternative method to segment and identify consumer profile and its media congruity in an emerging country (i.e. Malaysia). It is more efficient and reliable than other segmentation methods such as demographic variables and cross-sectional. We aim to establish and validate the influential events (e.g. social, political, economic and technological) used by the Boomer and Gen Y generational cohorts. Our study also identified suitable types of media that are congruent with the respective generational cohorts based on the external events. A self-administered survey was used, and the respondents consisted of two generational cohorts (Boomers and Gen Y). A total of 370 useable completed surveys was collected. We validated the external events proposed from the literature and empirically confirmed that these external events influenced both generational cohorts. The study indicates that respondents from both generational cohorts responded to the external events, which occurred during their coming of age (i.e. age 17–23), and this had a significant impact on them. Our empirical findings also suggest that there are additional external events that influence generational cohorts apart from that of the literature. The results show that Gen Y cited highly on most of the influential external events that occurred during their coming of age as compared to Boomers. This study contributes to identifying and establishing the external events of generational cohorts in Malaysia and would be useful in predicting media preferences using generational cohort profiles.
Keywords: Media self-congruity, digital native, digital immigrant, Gen Y, Boomers