Targeting and Understanding the Millennials


Ever since the entrance of the Millennial generation into the workforce, numerous academics, marketing experts and columnists have tried to define the main traits of this cohort. There have been strong opinionative articles, some stereotyping and multiple attempts at defining an audience that is very heterogeneous and hard to summarise to specific traits.

Why Study This Cohort?

For this blog, we’ve navigated through a lot of definitions and summarised the main facts about the Millennial audience. Why? Well if your business is targeting the millennial cohort, it’s important to understand it so you can strategically plan out how to best reach them.

Millennials and Workplace Transformation

And what a ride it’s been. Millennials have definitely challenged the norm of work placement. Here are some of the more predominant changes that arose from the presence of Millennials as they’ve penetrated the working market:

Disruption of The Traditional Work Placement

Rise in freelance work, work nomads, global citizens working from abroad, better life/work balance.

Disruption of the Nine to Five Work Schedule

Working on a flexible schedule, utilising different timezones and even start times to avoid rush hour.

Blurred Borders Between Geographical Locations

Yes you can work from Brazil, with a contract from London as an Italian native with Turkish roots.

Who are Millennials?

Nielsen Media Research has described the millennial audience as adults between the ages of 22 and 38 years old in 2019. With that being said, the ages of this actual generation are highly disputed. In fact, there are been recent opinions within popular media that defend the millennial generation should be separated into forming the zillennials. Which we have a whole blog about.

In this Medium article, Emily Warna outlines the Millennial generation those born between 1980s-mid 90s.

The most common tying factor that unifies most individuals within the Millennial generation has to do with the witnessing of the technological and digital revolution.

The Millennials were introduced to an age that had extreme advances in technology. Whilst some early members grew with them, other older members have been introduced to it through IT classes, home big-box computers, and mouses with the circle ball in it.

It’s important to keep in mind the special, unique relation that Millennials have with technology as it’s related to many other traits. The role with technology and access to a new online world reveals many other traits and therefore technology represents an overarching cause and consequence that both accompany, shapes and defines the millennial generation throughout.

Let’s have a more in-depth look at the Millenials general traits. This will allow understanding of how to best target them and decide if this is the ideal audience for your business to target.

Millennial’s Traits

The Most Documented Generation 

With the exponential growth of social media, this cohort of individuals is arguably one of the most documented generations to have ever lived. Often described as citizens of the world, their transient nature and tenacious attitudes are driving change cross-industries at a storming rate, with geographical locations no longer considered a barrier. Although, they can frequently be accused of lazy and not-driven.

Having lived through major market crises at an impressionable age, millennials are more risk-averse than some of their forebears and may have more in common with the attitudes of the children of the Great Depression than they do with either the Baby Boomers or Generation X.

This is an important key point to take into consideration when targeting millennials.

Savvy Generation

Millennials have a bigger understanding of marketing, money and their value as consumers much more than their parents did at their age. 
“Brands also need to recognize that they’re now dealing with a generation of consumers who are much savvier than their parents were at that age”.

This is perhaps due to the fact that Millenials grew up exposed to a lot of advertising, marketing that wasn’t always filtered that wasn’t always regulated in the most healthy way.

Key- point: Millennials aren’t as susceptible to marketing tactics as other audiences. This audience is perhaps the most risk-averse and less likely to convert easily to advertising due to their general scepticism, a saturation of 2000’s marketing campaigns, and previous life experience during the market crisis.

Millennials Are Socially Conscious

Millennials are heavily involved with social causes and actively want to contribute to a better, equal society.

14% of affluent millennials identify as Hispanic, 12% as Asian, and 7% as black. This is important when shaping the core value message to target this audience effectively. Millennials are aware of their ethnicity, identity and seek representation from brands accordingly and expect brands to do their part to balance out social disparity.

In fact, Smart Insights has tested the posts that had the most conversion within millennials and has outlined 7 values that stand out on social media, them being: animal rights, sustainability, environmental protection, inclusiveness, anti-racism, feminism and LGTBQ+ rights.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising to understand why so many brands (including small companies) opt by having a loud public opinion one of these social concerns.

No wonder brands are so vocal about their social stance through their marketing, they do it so to appeal to a younger generation .

And here we go, these are the main trains of the Millennial cohort.

Hopefully this help shed some light on the millennial generation traits for a more accurate and precise targetiing.

As usual, let us know your thoughts on it!

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