According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials (born from 1982-2000) have reached a population count of 83.1 million. That number is equal to more than one quarter of the U.S. population. Their size – along with the power they’re currently wielding in the marketplace – makes them quite enticing to those in the marketing world. For this reason, marketers large and small are desperately trying to make sense of this group and the changes they are bringing about.
We here at Weise have put together a 4-part series for the month of April that focuses on Millennials, the changes they are causing and how best to reach them. Our hope is, after reviewing these posts, the members of Generation Y won’t seem so mystifyingly peculiar.
To begin with, below is an appraisal of just some of the changes being brought on by this confounding generation.
Inbound marketing over outbound. For the past ten years, inbound marketing has gained more and more popularity. The Y Generation is considered to be largely responsible for this development. Traditional marketing avenues such as direct mail and ads via magazines, television and radio are losing their allure in the eyes of this younger generation. According to a 2014 survey, 84% of Millennials look negatively on traditional advertising. They are generally unimpressed with routine outbound marketing tactics like these because they view them as pushy and untrustworthy. Millennials prefer to feel more of an attachment to brands than what is afforded to them by traditional marketing.
This is why inbound marketing is becoming so essential. Members of Generation Y are attracted to material that engages them. They also pay attention to voices they view as having expertise and authenticity. The likelihood of this group taking the advice of experts is 44% higher than other demographics. Not surprisingly, blog posts, online videos, websites, social media and e-books are particularly popular with them. In fact, 84% of Millennials admit to being swayed to some extent by user-generated website content.
The prominence of renting. The recent trend toward renting rather than buying can be largely attributed to Millennials. They prefer the practicality of renting or leasing instead of enduring the financial restraints that come with long-term ownership. For them, the value is in the experience. A chief example of this trend is expressed in a 2015 survey conducted by Edmunds.com that reports that Millennials are more inclined to lease vehicles that they would otherwise be unable to afford. Brands like Rent the Runway, Airbnb and Spotify owe their popularity to this up-and-coming mentality.
Emphasis on mobile. Millennials are hardly ever without their smartphones. More and more, Generation Y prefers the luxury of being connected in order to browse the Internet, perform research on possible purchases or catch deals from their favorite brands. Nielson reports that over 85% of Millennials own smartphones. Given their large population, this statistic alone makes it clear that Millennials are a big reason why the shift to mobile marketing is becoming so important.
Some big changes are happening. We, as marketers would be woefully mistaken if we thought we could go on without taking note of these changes.
Next week, learn how to use the above information to adjust your current strategies and successfully reach Millennials.