Latest Research: Use of Generative AI is Transforming UK’s Youth and Reshaping Digital Marketing

Steve Grant

Managing Director

Steve is a founder of Figment, a multi award-winning UK-based SEO agency helping clients connect with new customers online to achieve healthy and sustainable business growth. Having advised over 200 business owners, Steve combines a strong commercial background with Figment’s innovative SearchRank 360™ approach and specialist team to deliver simple, cost-effective results. His ability to lead by example and inspire his team is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence. As a former Apple consultant and first-class Brunel graduate in Multimedia Technology and Design, Steve brings a unique blend of technical knowledge and marketing strategy to create tailored SEO campaigns that deliver results. Outside of work, Steve is a devoted family man, accomplished jazz pianist, and talented artist. With his friendly and professional approach, Figment's founder is not only an industry expert but also a true asset to any business seeking to make its mark in the online world.

Overview: Marketers are experiencing the digital shift among the UK’s youth, as seen in the Ofcom Online Nation 2023 report. We’re leveraging AI for innovative marketing strategies, focusing on personalised, engaging content while upholding quality and ethics. This approach ensures our campaigns resonate effectively with the AI-savvy younger generation.

 


 

The latest report from Ofcom, the Online Nation 2023, reveals something exciting: young people in the UK are leading a big change in how we use technology. 

They’re not just watching videos or scrolling through social media; they’re using new AI tools to create and interact in ways we’ve never seen before, and this opens up avenues for digital marketers. 

Our key takeaway is this: Marketers need to adapt by integrating AI into their marketing tactics. Using AI, they can better connect with and cater to the preferences of these tech-savvy youngsters.

How UK's Youth are Redefining Digital Engagement

How UK’s Youth are Redefining Digital Engagement

  • A significant 79% of teenagers (ages 13-17) are using AI tools.
  • Even among younger kids (ages 7-12), 40% are engaging with these technologies.
  • Snapchat’s My AI is a favourite, particularly for creating personalised content and interactions.
  • Midjourney and Bing Chat are also widely used, showing the diversity in AI tool preferences.
  • DALL-E is popular for its artistic capabilities, attracting creative young minds.
  • ChatGPT stands out among older teens and young adults and is used for both educational and recreational purposes.

Comparative Usage

The adoption rate among children and teenagers starkly contrasts with only 31% of adults using these tools, highlighting a generational tech gap.

Diverse Applications

These tools aren’t just for fun; they’re used for a range of activities, from homework help to creative projects, showcasing the versatility of AI in everyday life.

Emerging Trends

This high engagement signals a shift in digital behaviour and preferences among the younger generation, which is crucial for marketers to understand and adapt to. This shift is setting new standards for digital engagement and interaction. 

It’s not just about the tools themselves but how they are used to create, learn, and communicate. This evolving landscape offers a rich ground for innovative marketing strategies that can tap into the creativity and tech-savviness of a generation growing up in an AI-integrated world.

Figment’s Insights: Impact on Marketing Strategies

  • With more young people using AI, they’re expecting high-quality, more interactive content. Marketers need to think about how to stand out and appeal to this tech-savvy crowd.
  • AI tools offer unique and novel ways to create content that’s more personalised and engaging. Marketers should explore these tools to connect better with younger audiences.
  • Understanding what young people like and don’t like can help shape smarter marketing campaigns. By understanding individual preferences, marketers can create more relevant and appealing content.
  • As AI gets more popular, there’s worry about whether the content it creates is accurate and good enough. Marketers need to balance AI’s efficiency with quality control.
  • There’s a lot of talk about the right way to use AI. Marketers should focus on using AI ethically, respecting privacy, and being transparent about how they use AI-generated content.
  • To stay relevant, marketers need to keep up with the latest AI tools and trends. What’s popular today might be old news tomorrow. Staying updated with AI developments and understanding how to use these tools effectively is crucial for success.

Marketers need to stay ahead of the curve to meet the expectations of a digitally native audience. We are preparing for the transition by training and equipping our marketing team with AI skills. Our focus is on harnessing AI’s power to enhance and innovate our marketing strategies. 

We firmly believe that AI integration is more than just a trend; it’s the future of how brands will interact with their audiences, underscoring the importance of being adept in AI for enduring success in digital marketing.

More time spent on social media & slow growth in digital advertising = quality and data are more valued.

generative ai users by age group

The latest Ofcom Online Nation 2023 report reveals that teenagers and children in the UK are the primary adopters of generative artificial intelligence (genAI).

  • 79% of online teenagers ages 13 to 17 and 40% of children ages 7 to 12 use genAI tools, compared with 31% of adult internet users.
  • Popular genAI services include Snapchat My AI, Midjourney, Bing Chat, and DALL-E.
  • Snapchat’s My AI chatbot is widely embraced by children and teenagers, especially online teen girls.
  • ChatGPT is more popular among internet users ages 16 and older, with a notable usage gap between males and females in the 7-to-17 age group.
  • GenAI is used mainly for entertainment, work, and educational purposes, and concerns about its societal impact are prevalent.

Why it matters: The high genAI adoption rate among young demographics marks a significant shift in digital literacy and technology use. This change requires marketers to develop AI-friendly campaigns that connect with a generation accustomed to interactive and intelligent technology. It also emphasises the importance of robust digital education and safety measures in marketing strategies.

The popularity of genAI tools like Snapchat My AI and ChatGPT among younger consumers reflects evolving content consumption habits. Marketers should integrate AI-generated content and AI analytics into their strategies to align with these changing preferences, enhancing consumer engagement and experience.

The societal concerns around genAI underline the need for ethical marketing practices. Advertisers must focus on transparent practices, data privacy, and align brand messages with socially responsible AI use. This approach is vital to comply with emerging regulations and to appeal to a generation increasingly aware of technology’s ethical implications.

The Figment take: The rapid adoption of genAI by the younger generation reflects its adaptability and openness to emerging technologies. This places the marketing innovators well ahead of the laggards and will soon redefine marketing standards across the globe. 

The gender and age disparities in genAI usage reveal differing interests and potential discrepancies in access, suggesting a need for inclusive technology education.

The study’s findings could guide policymakers, educators, and tech developers in shaping a balanced approach to AI integration in society, focusing on innovation, safety, and ethics.

The report suggests younger users have a preference for AI-integrated social platforms like Snapchat My AI, hinting at future trends in social media and communication. In the US, Gen Z will almost entirely close the gap with millennials who use genAI by 2025, thanks to faster growth.

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