Marketing to “Millennials” is one of the hottest new areas of marketing attention that could turn huge profits if your messaging is on-point. Millennials are not as clearly defined compared with Baby Boomers, but as a general rule, they were born in the 1980s to early 2000s, and they tend to have a very different outlook than previous generations.
There were more 23-year-olds — 4.7 million of them — than any other age, according to census data from June 2014. The second most populous age group was 24, and the third was 22. By 2020, Millennials will make up one-fourth of the US population, topped only by those over 50, which will make up more than one-third overall.
As Millennials age and their purchasing power grows, so too do the opportunities to attract this age group - especially women.
The Different Millennial Groups
Women now account for more than 80% of all purchasing decisions in relation to the household. There are several distinct groups of Millennials, however, that your marketing message can appeal to:
- Married/in a relationship, but no kids
- Married, with kids
and the latter group can be divided into
Understanding the needs and motivations of each of these sub-groups can create a win-win for both you and them. They get high-quality products and genuine solutions to their "pain points" for a reasonable price, while you earn profits.
Even better, you have the opportunity to gain a loyal following who will be willing to share your marketing message to others through social networking, email and more.
This is the best educated of any previous generation, with the largest percentage having attended college. They are also the first generation to grow up and mature in the wake of the recession of 2008, so their consumer behavior will be quite different for a number of reasons.
Typical Spending Patterns
Many of the new college graduates have student debt to pay off. Jobs for younger people have been scarce due to major cutbacks and people not retiring because they can’t afford to, they wish to work longer, and/or the age of retirement has increased from 65 to 70.
Even if they do manage to find a job, the wage growth for younger college graduates has only risen slowly since the recession, putting their salaries well behind the starter salaries of previous generations. More debt and less discretionary income means many of them are putting off many of the big decisions and purchases that people of past generations would have, such as house or car purchases, or even moving out of their parents’ house into a place of their own.
They are less likely to follow the "buy now, pay later" philosophy of credit card use that was dominant before the recession triggered the credit crunch. Women are proud of their bargain hunting at K-mart and Target. An increasing number of designer labels appearing in those stores appeal to the budget shopper who wants something that little bit different.
Of those who do "nest" and marry, frugal is the name of the game. So too is being green and conscious of the impact of one’s spending and consumer choices. Millennials vote with their dollars, shopping online for bargains, and being influenced by what they see on social networks and videos on YouTube. They buy things their parents rarely purchase, like energy drinks and beverages to enjoy after working out.
If you are not already gearing your marketing message to female Millennials, it’s time to focus on what they really want, and provide it at a reasonable price.