Millennials (those born roughly between 1980 and 2000) have become the largest generation of people in the U.S., surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers. They account for about a third of the adult population and just over a third of the U.S. workforce.
Unlike Boomers or Gen Xers, Millennials are the first truly digital generation. Coming of age in an era of advanced technology and social media affects everything from the way they communicate, to how they consume information, to the way they shop and make purchasing decisions.
For marketers, understanding the influence that technology and media has on the generation and how that influence impacts the future of marketing is crucial, because Millennials account for an estimated $200 billion annually in direct spending and a projected $1.4 trillion by the year 2020.
Here are 3 ways that Millennials are redefining marketing:
How do Millennials shop? Shopping is broken down into a two-phased approach. In Phase one, it is not uncommon to find prospective buyers browsing selections online well before the intent to purchase kicks in. This researching phase happens in down time, such as watching TV at night, or when taking a break at lunch. It could be said that in lieu of traditional commercials, Millennials consume their marketing through product research.
Where do Millennials buy? Phase two of how Millennials shop can be called ‘pulling the trigger.’ When the research is complete, Millennials still want to see the product in the flesh when possible. This could be to try on clothing or to check the physical quality of something. Either way, they wanted the satisfaction of knowing that their money is well spent.
How do Millennials spend their money? In the above example, it becomes apparent that Millennials are not going to throw hard-earned money at a product simply because of a catchy ad. This generation is pragmatic, if not stingy, in a way that requires marketers to reach them on quality and practicality over other superfluous attributes. The kicker is that after the Millennial does the research and vets the product in the flesh, they return to the internet to find the best offer from a trusted distributor.
So what does this mean? It means that to reach this emerging demographic, marketers have to think differently. Millennials expect quality products with information that is easily accessible, along with a link to buy it online later at the best value.
Trellist’s combination of Marketing and Technology, along with our mix of seasoned Boomers, Xers and Millennials, makes us uniquely qualified to help clients respond to the new rules of marketing being created by Millennials. Find out what we can do for you.
Sources: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau Reports