- Brooke Thompson
Millennial Girl, Marketing in a Millennial World
Millennials are the biggest generation in American history and are set to lead in generational income within the next 5 years. WE (yes, I’m a proud lifetime member) are important to pay attention to yet are often over-generalized. Millennials are savvy shoppers and can sniff out insincere or false advertising. However, if you can win us over, we’ll work hard as influencers for your brand and don’t mind paying when it comes to annual fees, if the offer is right.
There are 80 million of us in the US, spending over $600 billion a year4. The team at Pragmatic sees that as a huge opportunity. We’ve made it our mission to dig in and find helpful insights for our clients to better market to me (spoken like a true Millennial). We thought we’d share just a few of the highlights we found the most surprising and actionable.
Three surprising insights discovered from learning to market to myself:
1. Millennials are a very important segment for the B2B space. – In fact, 55% of B2B buyers are millennials4. We are constantly being bombarded with advertisements because of this. According to Neilson, Millennials have the lowest ad engagement and memorability scores of any age group5. Therefore, it’s important to have an omni-channel approach, a clear value proposition and segment us separately. Do not get discouraged when our segment doesn’t perform as well as other segment groups. Rather, understand that you may have to increase the impression volume on your media buys. Additionally, with valuable content that ranks high on organic search (we know how Google works and will make our own decisions on where we click) and a focus on social responsibility, we will advocate for you within our companies.
2. We connect with brands that “get” us and are more likely to spend on experiences than possessions. – In a Futures Company report, 64% of Millennials responded yes to “I am always looking for new experiences and sensations that will liven up my everyday activities.” While only 21% responded yes to “I would be happier if I owned more material possessions”6. Therefore, it’s important to focus on offers that enrich our lives versus tchotchkes that clutter our lives. We over-index on spend in entertainment, travel and restaurants compared to the general population. Have a clear focus on these categories, whether you are able to include discounts in your value proposition or offer special one-off promotions to get us engaged.
3. Contrary to popular belief, don’t discount direct mail. – In fact, 84% of Millennials take the time to look through their mail and we are 5% more likely to keep our mail and show it to others than our non-millennial counterparts7. This makes DM to Millennials a great channel for referral marketing. Just make sure the offer is compelling and is conveyed in a succinct, transparent manner. We all fell victim to those 90s CD scams and know that FREE has strings attached. Drive us to online content that reaffirms our decision and offers more detail if we need it, which we often do. We aren’t as impulsive as you think…and will check out your competition too, therefore, be sure to speak to your points of differentiation.
These are just a few insights of many that Pragmatic has gathered in our quest to help our clients better market to Millennials (Meta, I know). Hopefully you found this content helpful and, if you are a Millennial, it passed the “useful content” sniff test. If we can be of help in thinking through a segmentation strategy for your customer marketing efforts, don’t hesitate to reach out. Any channel is fine. Even if you write me a letter, I’ll probably open it.
U.S. Census Bureau, “Annual Estimates of Select Age Groups by Sex for the U.S. and Puerto Rico as of July, 2015”
Javelin Strategy & Research, August 2016
Cardbeat US: Increasing Secondary Card Usage, Issue 6, 2017, Auriemma Consulting Group
Accenture Industry report, UPS online shopper study 5Neilson 6The Futures Company – 2016 Global MONITOR 7USPS Mail Moments: 2015 Review, March 2016