Marketing to millennials is in a lot of ways very different from marketing to other generational groups in the last century. For one, millennials are a varied bunch that come in all age groups – mostly because being a millennial has become about attitude just as much as it used to be about age. They’re a demographic not born out of war or social movements, but rather out of natural shifts in societal evolution. Take for example increased connectivity and transparency that comes with social media. This is one of the triggers for millennial attitudes, but because it has nothing to do with a defined moment in time or a rift in thought processes, it becomes more difficult for people to identify the rise of millennials.
To make it simpler for you, I’ve charted out the top must-know facts about millennials. Consider it a crash course in knowing how you should be targeting your market – because after all, the millennial mind set is only going to get bigger and more widespread with each new generation.
Millennials Have Never Known a World Without Internet
So, to pull from Micah Solomon in his Forbes article titled “Millennials, The Biggest Generation of Customers Ever, Don’t Care About the Internet,” it would be a really bad idea to make millennials pay for something they’ve always seen as a basic utility similar to electricity or running water. As Solomon puts it, “The very definition of millennial brand suicide: Hotels that charge for wifi.”
They’re More Inclined to Put in Additional Hours of Work
This may seem contrary to the stereotype of the lazy self-serving millennial that needs to be babied in the work place. Because they’ve never known a world without technology, this group is more open to engaging in technology to continue working outside of hours. Millennials, a demographic that embraces flexibility and prefer value of work and is invested in outcomes, are more likely to engage in work after hours. This group doesn’t recognize the 9am-5pm, which makes them a more invested workforce. In fact, according to an infographic by Mashable and Statista, 37% of millennials between the ages of 18-49 years, will spend time working outside of regular hours.
Millennials are Reshaping Management
In time, 100% of the workforce will be made up of millennials. So while having a millennial-friendly workplace environment is a novelty right now, it’s an inevitability in another couple of generations. Craig Malloy writes in Forbes, in an article titled “Managing Millennials And Boomers in the Workplace,” how millennials are a triple threat in a workplace. Malloy notes, “These young workers are dynamic, high energy, full of ideas and live at the intersection of cloud, mobile, social – a great blend of traits that are essential for any company.” He goes on to draw from his own experience, as a father of millennials and his own experience in start-ups, to offer sound advice for anyone trying to harmonize a business that has Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the millennial Generation Y.
Millennials Bridge the Gap Between Ethnicity-Based Marketing
A new eMarketer report titled “US Hispanic Millennials Bridging Cultural and Technology Gaps,” writes US-based Hispanic millennials are more receptive to mobile ads. eMarketer also points to: (1) a 2013 ThinkNow poll that shares how “77% of Hispanic millennials agreed that advertisements on their mobile phones provided them with useful information about new products and services.”; (2) An Experian survey notes “22.7% of Hispanic millennials reported they were likely to purchase products they saw advertised on their mobile phones; just 14.1% of non-Hispanics said the same.”
However, the most interesting insight from eMarketer’s article comes from Roberto Ruiz, a Senior VP of Strategy and Insights at Univision Communications, who highlights that “Hispanic millennials tend to be more aware and sensitive of cultural cues in advertising than their older generations. Portraying certain stereotypes will just make this group feel alienated.” Yet this isn’t a trait among only ethnic millennial. The average millennial is more socially conscientious than their predecessors.
Millennials, however, are far from done when it comes to reshaping how we view each other and how we do business. The average millennial is just at the brink of really making an impact in the workplace, and with subsequent generations born into an even more tech-saturated society, we can be sure that expectations and attitudes will only continue to flex with developing needs. To arrive at a better understanding of millennials beyond the Benchmark Millennial Series, I recommend Goodreads’ wonderful list on the 24 best books on millennials. Another great place to start understanding this generation is with Neil Howe’s Millennial Rising: The Next Generation.
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