Millennials are the most difficult generation to market to yet.
Millennials consist of one fourth of the world’s population, that’s three times the size of Generation X and they spend $200 billion annually, making them major leaders in purchasing power.
There’s some important things to know about millennials, especially in the U.S.- they’re more racially and ethnically diverse than any other generation in American history; in fact, 43% are non-white. Women are playing a much bigger role in the workforce as well. In 2011, moms were the primary income in 40% of households with kids. That’s the largest it’s ever been, and the gender pay gap is narrowing more and more. Furthermore, they’re the most educated, yet the most in debt.
What Makes Millennials Difficult to Market To?
So if millennials are the largest market in the world right now, and they’re spending the most money, why are they the most difficult to target for ads? Traditional marketing doesn’t cut it for this generation because millennials aren’t watching traditional television, instead they’re streaming TV on platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. They’re not reading newspapers or taking in billboards like their previous generations because they’re overstimulated by all the ads around them.
Learning how to market to this complex and overstimulated generation is essential for the growth of any business. A study from Defy proved young viewers don’t mind watching ads that support their personalities.
A study from Defy shows that 85% of their millennial clients regularly watch YouTube. This is a massive market and a platform with serious potential. Eighty percent of these people prefer a 15 second pre-roll ad as opposed to other ads, this information can be used to put an emphasis on YouTube and other streaming platforms advertisements. Fifty-three percent will tolerate a one minute spot, meaning no ad should be lasting more than a minute, and even with that minute it’s pushing it. This is a key component to the marketing mix, the position of a promotion is everything, and YouTube is one of the best places to be as of right now.
How Does Social Media Fit Into Marketing to Millennials?
While social media use has dramatically increased, so as “Insta-stars,” influencers, and bloggers. While people like the Kardashian-Jenner clan (who average around 90 million followers) have a massive and loyal following, for small companies, getting them to sponsor a product is unrealistic. Instead, looking for people with thousands, rather than millions, of followers in a specific area or with a special skill that will serve your niche product well is something to look at. Not only will you gain significant online traffic, but Defy has reported that 87% of millennials approve of social media influencers sponsoring a product or service.
With the trending body peace movements, and the constant need for entertainment, it’s no suprise4 that when Adweek conducted a study, they found that 57% of millennials say they’re willing to view ads as long as it features authenticity, is entertaining, and is useful. This is key information marketers need to be listening to when preparing for a campaign launch. In addition, in a study by the McCarthy Group, 47% of millennials say the internet is the one thing they cannot live without.
Essentially, using online social media is the way of the future in marketing to younger generations. YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat should all be taken to full advantage when looking at new marketing campaigns. A pre-roll video on YouTube, Snapchat filter, or influencer endorsing your products, are all simple ways of bringing old marketing techniques into the 21st century.
Written by Savannah Buck
Millennial, Marketing Intern, and Business Owner