Kevin Harlow, Product Leader
Data & Analytics
Ask anyone over 40 to describe millennials (sometimes called Generation Y or the Net Generation), and they’ll probably sigh before using words like “entitled,” “narcissistic” and “irresponsible.” But millennials are growing up. And like generations before them, they aren’t who they first appeared to be. Consider these surprising statistics:
- Millennials make up the largest segment of today’s workforce.
- Over 63% of millennial workers have a bachelor’s degree.
- 35% of employed millennials have started their own business on the side to supplement their income.
Millennials also make up approximately 25% of the U.S. population. That’s larger than baby boomers and three times the size of Generation X. What’s more, Accenture estimates that millennials will spend $1.4 trillion annually and represent a whopping 30% of total retail sales by 2020. Obviously, this is a desirable market with incredible potential.
Who are millennials?
The Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born from 1981 to 1996. These dates were chosen due to key political, economic and social factors, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Great Recession and the internet explosion.
This means that millennials range in age from 23 to 38. That’s quite a gap, fluctuating from young to mature adults.
More than 90% of millennials own smartphones, compared with 85% of Gen Xers (ages 39 to 53), 67% of baby boomers (ages 54 to 72) and 30% of the Silent Generation (ages 73 to 90), according to the Pew Research Center.
Reaching this generation
Many marketers struggle when it comes to reaching this audience since they are less likely to respond to traditional tactics. These tips can help:
- Embrace mobile optimization: Your website content should be optimized so the information clearly translates between desktop and mobile devices. The vast majority of millennials own smartphones, and they rely heavily on digital technology. If your content doesn’t translate, they will quickly lose interest.
- Highlight your social stance: Nearly 40% of millennials say they are more willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more. If your company is committed to sustainability or supports a charitable cause, promote your activities — and results — through social media and on your website.
- Show personality: Authenticity is crucial when marketing to this group. Use a conversational tone in your copy. Be friendly and personable. Focus on how customers use your product or service. Millennials don’t want information about your product; they want to know how it enhances their lives.
- Use data analytics: Data mining uses statistical techniques to analyze customer behavior and buying habits. This allows you to market more effectively. For example, you can create a campaign targeted to those purchasing their first home or life insurance policy to reach this desired audience.
Partner with the experts
We offer three strategic ways to help launch your next millennial marketing campaign:
- Customize content and visuals designed specifically for this niche audience. Techniques include hyper-personalization and 1:1 marketing.
- Magnify your impact with an omnichannel campaign by sending multiple channels to the same household. This integrated approach typically increases campaign performance by 15-30%.
- Leverage trigger data related to purchase intent, such as active home or car shoppers. Doing so ensures you’re starting with a target audience that has a higher propensity to buy.