3 Things About Marketing to Millennials That Might Surprise You


millennials surprise
Social Media Week

Millennials are a unique generation of consumers, and they don’t necessarily hate advertisements, but rather care deeply about its value and the experience. If you ever try to reach Millennial consumers, here are three things to know.

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While “Millennials” has been the de facto marketing buzzword for some time now, they still manage to challenge brands and marketers to be smarter, better, and faster. Millennials represent a moving target online and in stores, which is why marketers need to get (and stay) educated on them.

If you think you know everything there is to know about Millennials, you might want to think again. New data from L.E.K. consulting, a UK-based brand consultancy, points to three interesting facts that might surprise marketers.

1. They are more open to branded content, as long as it’s relevant.

Despite trends in ad-blocking, per the study, Millennials are actually more open to receiving branded messages than older generations of consumers, as long as that content is targeted to their interests and needs. They are also more likely to fork over their personal data for exclusive offers, better products, and the like. Even though Millennials are more likely to avoid ads (they value choice and control), they will be receptive to those ads if they provide true value.

2. Their TV habits have changed, but they have not abandoned it altogether

While many millennials are cord-cutters, TV has not lost all importance. Second-screen devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) have become the first place where millennials consume content – even for Millennials that started their own families, according to the report.

Millennials spend twice as much time consuming media (including online video services) than older generations (11 hours per week vs. 5 hours per week). And across all ages, Millennials exhibit a much higher concentration of online video subscription services. It’s no wonder why “Netflix and chill” is dominating cultural vernacular, and why Amazon’s Jeff Bezon is gunning for an Oscar in 2016. Established cable brands are now shifting their models to encourage viewing experiences beyond the small screen – often to even smaller screens.

3. They live their lives online, but they still love offline experiences

Millennials are hyper-connected and online all the time, but that doesn’t mean they are sitting at home twiddling their thumbs. In fact, they seek out offline experiences more than other generations. But here’s the kicker: They are doing so as a means for expressing themselves via digital channels.

As the study notes, Millennials are more likely to seek out activities that allow them to showcase their own interests and own personal brands via social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. “Lifecasting” is an increasingly popular behavior within this group because Millennials are the first generation to use social media to build their own personal brands. As the saying goes, “Do it for the Vine!”

If you’re not in the business of television or offline experiences, there is still a ton to take away regarding Millennials and their behavior. You might be interested in downloading some of “The 13 Apps Millennials Use The Most” to step in the shoes of a Millennial. Or, if you want to get a deeper look at some of the best ways to market to this generation, you should read our “What To Know When Marketing To Millennials” which a Millennial wrote himself.

Image Credit: GreenBiz



Erica Perry

Content and Marketing Associate , Crowdcentric

Erica Perry is a Social Media Week contributor, and Marketing & Content Associate for Crowdcentric. A recent graduate from Boston College, Erica resides in Boston, Mass.



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