Millennials and Mobile – Where do they meet?

guuAs the summertime is underway, I find myself in conversations with many in the millennial generation (Gen Y) who are now entering the workforce as interns or new permanent employees.  It prompted me to share some insights and data points that relate to marketing to this audience, with a strong emphasis and focus in mobile of course.

Attention is obtained in a variety of ways in current advertising.  While the group might be considered very digital-savvy and advanced, it is interesting to share the response and effectiveness of the variety of ad types.  They are seen to reflect and live by five distinct values: happiness, passion, diversity, sharing and discovery.  Living in reality – they want to be inspired and involved, not just marketed to.  By 2015, they are expected to make up half of the workforce, and it will be interesting to notice which brands have shifted with the generation that has a growing influence.

Some might assume that the younger generation is mobile first, but a recent study conducted in March 2014 showed mobile as an influential type of ad, however it trailed TV, social and online in perceiving/valuing a brand.  However, older properties such as radio, billboards and magazines trailed behind mobile.  Nearly 80% of this age group (adults age 25-34) owns a smartphone, and this is reflected on the usage in apps and entertainment on mobile, such as music, media and lifestyle apps.  They are looking for something to enhance their every day, and share it in a social manner, rather than bluntly pushing your product or service to them in a generic old manner.

As the VP of Marketing at Experian Marketing Services explained the millennial generation as “omni-channel consumers with mobile being their primary channel of choice.  Given that this is a generational reality, marketers should be accelerating their investments and integrating brand experiences incorporating mobile by design.”  Clearly, this generation is not to be forgotten – the size of their population is estimated at over 75 million, larger than the baby boomers which many have focused on for years.  If a business or brand is to forget this audience, they might see failure ahead.

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