Engaging the Elusive Millennial

Engaging the Elusive Millennial

In case you haven’t noticed, Baby Boomers’ babies are gaining increased buying power and market share, inspiring a sense of panic among marketers unsure of how to reach this millennial generation. Our advice: don’t panic, but do read on. SO WHO ARE THESE MILLENNIALS? Millennials are the 18 to 35 year olds deemed to bring an end to the monetization of media. But that’s not all, they’re also lazy, entitled, disconnected and cheap. Or that’s at least how they’ve been widely profiled. Luckily for them, for you, and for the future of media, this generalization is entirely wrong. Millennials are actually: CONNECTED They are dismissed as selfish, rude and disconnected as they remain permanently “plugged-in” to their mobile devices. But for this generation — the first to grow up with, or after, the popularization of the internet — mobile is a means to hyper-connection unattainable offline. Immersed in a sharing community, the mobile internet provides a way to share insights, do research and develop relationships. So far, all signs point to millennials being engaged and caring individuals. PRINCIPLED They are accused of being entitled. Having entered a workforce void of the same opportunity as their parents, they are offered judgement, not sympathy, for their difficulty in landing a job. It’s true: having seen the success of their Baby Boomer parents first hand, they have higher quality-of-life standards. They want to “work to live” not “live to work” and they adhere to a strong set of personal values and beliefs that support this prioritization. Does that sound so bad? CAREFUL Finally, they are categorized as cheap. They were raised through a recession, the effects of which can still be seen in the lean workforce. They are expected to have a post-secondary education, but even a Masters degree won’t guarantee them employment. As a result they are careful and calculating with their money. Constant access to information gives them the ability to research anything and everything. They value peer feedback and seek out brand values that align with their own. Ultimately, once they believe in a product, they are willing to invest.   WHERE ARE THESE MILLENNIALS SPENDING? Millennials are responsible for $430 billion in annual, non-essential spending. They may not be buying traditional media, but consider this: in order to be so constantly connected to their devices, millennials need to make some serious investments. Their principal investment goes into the devices themselves. In fact, if millennials replace each of their tablets, PC’s and game consoles on an average 5-year cycle, they will spend approximately $3,000 per year on technology—devices designed to keep them connected (source: Deloitte’s 2015 Predictions). Once they have the devices, they need the content that fills them—they just might be choosier about where they get it. So, how do...

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