Millennials — the generation born between the early 1980s and 2000 is becoming the focus of marketing efforts - they made up the largest share of the US workforce as of Q1 2015 and in 2016, have surpassed the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), in population size for the first time in history. According to Accenture, in less than five years, Millennial annual spending will surge to an estimated $1.4 trillion. Millennials spend more time on the Internet and use mobile devices more than any other generation, however, they appreciate and value offline channels.
The 2015 neuroscience research from True Impact Marketing and Canada Post concluded that direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable than digital media and is more likely to drive behaviour than digital media.
Millennials rely on technology. However, as email marketing is relatively inexpensive, it can be overused and lead to message fatigue. Based on findings from the Quad study, nearly half of millennials say they ignore email and Internet ads. On the other hand, only 15% of Millennials say they ignore direct mail print advertising; and despite the fact that 62% of millennials read content on mobile devices, 45% ignore mobile text advertising.
When it comes to social media, millennials engage with Facebook more than any other social network. More than 83% share and stay connected via Facebook, double those interacting on Instagram — the next leading network. Even though they sign on and actively thumb through their feeds, fewer than one in 10 millennials made a purchase based on social media activity; and just 1% purchased an item from a social site. Just because they use and prefer electronic media more than other generations doesn’t mean that millennials are paying attention to marketing messages on digital platforms.
In the US, much like in many other countries, millennials are fueling the rising trend of adblocking. According to February 2016 research from Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford conducted by YouGov, 44% of US internet users aged 18-24 and 29% of those aged 25-34 reported using ad blockers.
Moreover, millennials, whether they use ad blockers or not, are also highly likely to avoid ads by simply ignoring them. A March 2016 survey of US internet users conducted by Maru/VCR&C for Vision Critical found that 77% of millennial respondents actively tune out ads, compared with only 61% of Gen Xers and 66% of baby boomers. Meanwhile, 75% of millennials found ads disruptive, and 65% agreed that the world would be a better place without ads. To make their ads more effective with millennials, advertisers might want to make sure their messaging is tailored specifically for this audience. In a November 2015 poll of US internet users conducted by Yahoo, Audience Theory and Ipsos, millennials were more likely than Gen Xers and baby boomers to click on ads aimed specifically at their generation, and were also more inclined to make a purchase from a brand whose ad was targeted specifically at their generation.
Millennials and retail
82% of millennials read direct mail from retail brands and more than half (54%) look forward to receiving hard-copy retail catalogues in the mail, as reported in “Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse,” an annual study by Quad/Graphics that tracks Millennial consumer shopping habits and media preferences. During the past 30 days, 49% even took print coupons with them to the store, and nearly three of four millennials use grocery retail inserts — 6% more than the average shopper. While direct mail, advertising inserts and catalogues stand out as important channels for this age group, millennials are still multichannel shoppers.Source: targetmarketingmag.com, Canada Post, qg.com, emarketer