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  • Writer's pictureNicc Lewis

Millennials On Demand

Updated: Apr 11

It seems like everyone is talking about how to market to Millennials. As a generation born after the turn of the Millenium is maturing into a viable market segment, the biggest issue is that because of the rate of change in technology and the effects the changes have had on how we live our lives, their behaviors are alien to older generations - even if the difference is a mere five years. 

Consider just some of the developments and imagine what life was like just a decade ago. Mobile phone technology is a prime example. In 2008 the first iPhone was released. Prior to this phones were at best Symbian - Nokia ruled the roost. Text messages were limited to characters or truncated on better devices. Social Media was unheard of. TV programming was scheduled - definitely not on demand. Until 2011 Netflix was still sending DVDs by post to subscribers. Imagine life without Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, VOD or a Smartphone. If you were born before the turn of the millennium, you probably can. If you were born after, this might be impossible to envisage.

When we talk about Marketing in general, we look at traditional advertising (such as TV), Digital Marketing (including Search Engines, Display & Social Media), Email Marketing, Content Marketing, and Affiliate Marketing. All of these channels are relevant but need to be approached differently.

Take TV advertising as an example. In 2018, according to the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), only 42% of Millennials watched scheduled programming and this number is in decline. So, is TV advertising dead? This generation still watches TV programs, but they consume on demand rather than on scheduled programming. Product placement has become a huge influence on consumer behavior. An entire Influencer Marketing industry has grown, with stars endorsing products and services. Influencer Marketing in turn has turned Affiliate Marketing on its head. Micro-Influencers and Nano Influencers are becoming the new Affiliates and Digital Marketing channels of Generation Z. 

Much of the program consumption happens online and on mobile. This means that advertising has gone from the “ad break” to the holistic experience around the viewing. With YouTube, for example, there are video ads before the main clip. With the “Skip Ad” button, the way advertising is presented means a re-think in scripting of video ads - you have only up to 3 or 5 seconds to grab the viewers’ attention and get your brand across. 

This type of advertising consumption suits the Millennial modus operandi - they need a fast hook to grab attention. Once interested they are willing to invest their time and to make decisions, including buying decisions based on trust, value for money (not price) and the opinions of others. 

There have been a number of articles published showing that this generation is the least hedonistic for decades. Bars, clubs and brick and mortar businesses are closing at an alarming rate. This is a partial view - in the top 5 global companies sit Amazon and Apple. Millennials are brand-aware. You also need to know that you have to meet them online. 

If you have not already started aligning your brand and marketing strategy to suit this generation, you should start now. Within a few short years not only will Millennials be the majority, they will also influence older generations to adopt their habits.

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