Millennials have gotten a bad rap, which is extremely disheartening, considering that I am one.
In case you haven’t heard, those of us born between 1977 and 1995 are a bunch of self-involved, lazy and entitled kids who constantly need reaffirmation and have resigned themselves to living with their helicopter parents while staying non-committed to jobs for the rest of their lives.
I like to believe that my cohorts and I (also fondly referred to as the “Y Generation”) deserve a little more credit than that. Given that we’re one of the most studied generations, there have been some interesting statistics to arise from the stereotypes that prove we’re complex, we’re more tolerant, we’re news-hungry, we’re educated and we’re extremely good-looking.
Granted, that last one isn’t proven, but these are the things we know for sure:
- There are a lot of us. Approximately 80 million, making Millennials the largest “generation” in history. (US Census Bureau)
- We’re technologically savvy. More than 90 percent of young adults own a computer and 80 percent own Smartphones. (Nielsen @Plan, Q4 2011)
- Yes, we know what newspapers are. However, 71 percent of young adults ages 19-29 get their information from the internet. (Pew Research Center)
- We’re overloaded with news. We receive five times as much information today as we did in 1986 (The Telegraph).
- 55 percent of us have shared a selfie (Pew Research Center). Guilty as charged.
Getting the attention of my generation tends to mystify marketers—and given these statistics, I can’t blame them for being confused. So, how does one get our attention with marketing and public relations techniques? It’s not as easy as a Tweet or a Facebook event anymore.
We’re not as “tech-trendy” as you think. While being seen without our Smartphones is about as rare as seeing a unicorn, this is not to be confused with the idea that we’re always looking for the “next, flashiest” app. Sure, Millennials respond well to social and digital marketing, but mediums such as radio and TV shouldn’t be discounted just because they’re “traditional.” According to a March 2014 survey conducted by RADAR 120, 67 million Millennials spend approximately two hours a day listening to radio, meaning that radio reaches 9 out of 10 Millennials every week. We’re bombarded with information every day – be sure to cover all of your marketing bases, as “old school” as they may be. If we see the information across multiple mediums enough times, you’re sure to hit a homerun.
We want to interact. There’s nothing quite like being retweeted or receiving an Instagram comment from your favorite company. We want to be able to develop relationships with our favorite brands and feel like our voices are being heard, in the same way that brands and businesses hope to stand out in the vast sea of competition out there. A surefire way to earn loyalty and trust from a Millennial is to make sure they feel like they’re being heard — regardless of whether you’re responding to a complaint or positive endorsement. We do our research, we look for companies whose values align with ours, and we’ll certainly take our valuable time and $200 billion of direct purchasing power elsewhere if a company doesn’t offer a positive brand experience or if a sense of trust isn’t developed.
We’re visual. Between juggling work, our social lives and receiving five times the news from a plethora of sources, a multi-page news article is unlikely to hold our interest. Whether it’s a Tweet, Facebook post or printed content, one thing is for certain (for all ages): 80 percent of readers are likely to read something if it has accompanying visuals, such as infographics. Infographics not only have a tendency to trend on social media, they are also a great use of space to show that you’re an expert or have an understanding of the topic (a.k.a. that whole “trust thing” we talked about in the last paragraph). In just over two years, infographic searches have increased over 800 percent (Neomam Studios)—a testament to the Y Generation and an overall increased need for information in a more condensed, digestible form.
So there you have it: all of my Millennial secrets have been revealed. If you have any additional questions or wish to discuss, feel free to comment below or Tweet to @ProsioPr. Just remember, keep it short and simple—and if you make us an infographic about it, even better.