The Millennial generation is now the unquestionable driving force for innovation and culture, worldwide. As the most well-educated and largest generational group in the U.S., they are poised to have the most purchasing power, and exert the most influence on how consumers are marketed to for decades to come.
Experientially, they have endured three major wars in some form or another, two major recessions, and an exponential technology revolution. They are the product of social globalization.3
Liberal on average, Millennials spend less and pay more, are under-employed and compensated more poorly than previous generations, care about the environment, and are vocal champions of equal opportunity and social justice.
Most importantly, Millennials are the most technologically-adapted and culturally-informed generation. They grew up in the internet age—an age of mass communication and almost unlimited information resources.
These qualities require prudent marketers to revise their playbook, taking into account consumer knowledge and technological habits.
Millennial digital engagement and adaptability is high, but they are bombarded with an estimated 5000 advertisements a day.4 They have evolved from a young age to cope with non-resonating outreach, essentially tuning out almost all traditional marketing messages and methods. Even a typical engaged impression these days only lasts 8 seconds, if a marketer is lucky.
To attract Millennials, brands need provide interesting and relevant information or content.
Context and honesty matter most to this demographic.
Millennials do not like to be told what to like by marketers, they’d much rather form opinions themselves through experience or through their social circles, which means less telling and more showing.
The most relevant drivers in millennial marketing now are smart tech and content startups (Buzzfeed, Vice, Snapchat, Instagram, etc)—companies who drive authentic, mass content distribution and creation, and which foster an open dialogue with consumers.
Ultimately, the greatest irony of marketing to millennials is that the best way to do so is to have them market your product for you.