Marketing to Millennials

See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 4 : ISSUE 1 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK. Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

Volume 4 : Issue 2

2015 – Q2

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this Issue:

* Feature Article – Marketing to Millennials: Who They Are and How To Reach Them

* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at GeoMetrx “JAVA Security Settings for Windows 7 & 8”

* Thematic Map – Millennials: Where They Are – a closer look at how GeoMetrx can help you maximize your market potential

* Trivia Challenge​​ – When did the top social media platforms launch?

Who They Are

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are a misunderstood group, often thought of as being underemployed and underdriven. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the exact age range of this generation varies in the marketplace, the census bureau defines them as America’s youth born between the years 1982 and 2000. The most recent census estimates identify millennials as the largest population segment in the U.S. at 83.1 million (25%). They range in age from 15 to 33, account for nearly half the workforce (expected to be 75% by 2020) and represent an estimated $1.7 trillion in purchasing power.

The cause of misunderstanding is due in large part to their non-traditional world view. Millennials are the first generation to have grown up in a global world driven by social media. This has helped shape their core values, form their concepts of family and community, and alter their course away from traditional lifestyles and following a linear path through life’s stages. They are optimists who have been raised with an abundance of choices compared with their predecessors. They approach the future with the belief their options are endless and anything is possible. They have a unique sense of self and a desire to obtain happiness in the face of harsh economic challenges.

Millennial families come in a variety of configurations, both married and not. Nearly half of Millennials are married, and half have children, though not necessarily the exact same halves! Their concept of community reaches beyond the immediate neighborhood defined by geographical boundaries, and encompasses myriad global communities sharing common ideologies. As a whole, they are less focused on acquiring material goods and more focused on amassing first-hand, life experiences. This is especially poignant since traditional life stage milestones, such as attaining home-ownership, have proven to be more elusive for this generation. A growing trend for today’s younger set is to pursue a location-independent, traveling lifestyle.

How To Reach Them

Marketers will be most successful reaching millennials through segmentation, targeting them based on the social issues they care about rather than appealing to a quest to fulfill traditional life markers such as marriage, buying a home or starting a family. While this approach influenced the purchasing behaviors for the older generations, the younger population has a much stronger attachment to social identity. Millennials will respond to companies with a proven record of corporate social responsibility, and are willing to pay more for a product or service that supports a cause they believe in. Brands that can accommodate their mindsets will have staying power with this generation.

Millennials are also the first generation to have grown up entirely in an electronic world. They are perfectly adapted to keeping up with the rapid and ever-changing digital marketplace, in fact, they expect it. Tech savvy by nature, 85% have smartphones, and are rarely ‘off-grid.’ Companies who have not yet migrated their websites to be mobile friendly must make such a move a top strategic priority. Mobile computing is on the rise and apps for services are now essential, especially for businesses with millennials as a core target group.

Finally, marketing campaigns need to be engaging and innovative. According to a survey of over 500 millennials in 2013, SocialChorus reports that almost 95% say friends are their most credible source of product information. Word-of-mouth can make or break a product or service for this generation. Drawing in the millennial customer, gearing campaigns to where their values lie, and gaining their trust through common social issues is the best way to get them talking, and posting, among themselves, their family and their friends.