7 Important Trends for Marketing to Millennials
Never before in the history of marketing and media has there been a generation like Millennials. They are both admired and admonished, and seem to be the focus of everything to do with trends for business.
When it comes to understanding where your business is heading in the next five years, it’s important to know what the next generation values. As millennials move into their early 30s, there is a shift starting in their buying habits.
Here are 7 different trends that millennials are driving, and that business owners must adapt to:
1) Millennials are the longest living generation
At 83 million people, Millennials account for a quarter of the population of the United States, making them the largest living generation. But more than that, their life expectancy is much longer than in past generations. Some experts suggest that millennials may live past 100 years old. This means that their buying habits are more focused on longevity.
2) Millennials have an ecological consciousness
A recent study by MIT Agelab showed that over 56% of millennials have concerns about the environment. This means that businesses that focus on green technology, recycling, and waste responsibility are seen to have more value to the millennial buyer.
3) Millennials are extremely well educated
Though older generations may roll their eyes and resent their knowledge, the facts show that millennials have significantly more access to education and information than ever before. At least 46% of millennial women and 36% of millennial men today have a bachelor’s degree. This compares to 32% of Generation X in 2000, and 26% of Baby Boomers in 1985. Appealing to a more educated demographic means offering higher quality content that educates as much as it sells. Positioning your company as experts in your field, rather than just vendors, is key to marketing to millennials.
4) Millennials want to see the world
Nielsen Research reports that Millennials travel more than any other generation. In a recent survey, 70% of Millennials agreed that “Visiting every continent in my lifetime would be something I’d like to do.” What does this mean for business? It means that anything exotic or with ties to foreign cultures holds strong appeal. If your business is somehow involved in travel or has a global focus, it is more appealing to the current generation of buyers.
5) Millennials prefer a connected approach to life
Compared to previous generations, Millennials are especially collaborative in their work and personal lives. There is a strong focus on peers and seeking counsel and recognition via to online networks. As a business owner, it is imperative that you are aware of the latest platforms and methods by which millennial generations connect and share with each other. Some platforms, like Instagram, can have a massive influence on the success of your business when used effectively.
6) Millennials are starting to earn and spend more
As they move from student life into employment, Millennials are beginning to accrue more wealth and spend more. Currently, the average yearly millennial spends around $46,000 on their living expenses. This accounts for approximately $600 million in the US alone. This number is expected to rise to $1.4 trillion by 2020 as Millennials pay off loans and obtain higher salaries.
7) Millennials are not quite ready to settle down
Despite accusations of being commitment-phobic, the reality is that millennials are actually being more strategic about getting married and ‘settling down’. About 57% of Millennials have never been married, which shows the shifts toward marriage later in life. Some cite wanting to travel first, or to pay down student debts, while others are focused on starting a business or growing their career. This means that the older generation’s values of settling early are not as valued and don’t resonate.
These seven trends are really just the beginning of the generational shifts in attitude and lifestyle. Along with different needs and ambitions, there is also a stronger tendency amongst millennials to trust friend groups and even online sources more than conventional media.
As business owners, it is important to tap into the cultural zeitgeist and to see how these values can be reflected in your marketing and approach to your customers. The millennial generation is slowly taking over the reins of the world, and it is important to be prepared for the change.