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Gen Y, your time is now

Millennials. Gen Y have become the latest buzzword in marketing. There’s no denying this is currently the most talked about segment in the marketing game. From TV to social media, you don’t have to look far to see how focussed marketers have become on baiting this fresh batch of consumers.

But what’s behind the sudden focus on millennial marketing? And, more importantly, why is almost every campaign dressing to impress this demographic?

As a millennial myself, I am the target of this media attention. But is it working? Let’s take a look at the top three reasons our behaviour is reshaping the marketing arena and how you could use it to your benefit.

1. We were born digital citizens

We’ve been widely labelled as ‘always on’ and there’s no denying we love social media. Using multiple digital platforms on a daily basis, we’re up to date on everything. So it makes sense to use this medium to infiltrate our world.

Technology and the internet is part of our natural order of life. What previous generations regard as ‘revolutionary’ leaves us unimpressed. Instead, we respond to ways technological advances could benefit both us and the wider world: being more connected, making more money, helping more communities.

Nowadays, we – the digital natives – are not only absorbing brands’ content but also dictating the trends being consumed by all the other generations.

2. We want our voices to be heard

We are the generation standing up for our rights and contesting the current social and political landscape. We are opinionated, compassionate and pushing the boundaries of the traditional and old-fashioned schools of thought that were established by our predecessors.

Whether it’s a political or social issue, or simply our opinion of a brand, we speak freely and we speak loudly. By listening to us, you can use our feedback to strengthen your brand and its marketing strategy.

3. We spend money

This is the big one.

We are the first generation set to shell out more than the big-spending Baby Boomers. We Gen Y babies are fast becoming the biggest consumer generation in history: we’re predicted to spend more than US$200 billion a year from 2017 onwards, and US$10 trillion in our lifetimes.

We’re entrepreneurial and we’re motivated by success. Knowing this, marketers could create seductive campaigns that appeal to our dominant drives and desires. However, many believe (wrongly) the most powerful millennial marketing tool is anything that has a like or comment functionality.

Simply having a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account won’t automatically propel your brand into the forefront of the millennial mindset. Rather, we crave engaging content that’s interesting and relevant, that encourages us to share with our friends and communities online.

We want to be able to voice our opinion of your brand but also trust what it represents.

Don’t let our selfie sticks or Snapchat obsessions fool you. We’re the savviest and most well-educated generation to date (IMO) – so market accordingly.

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Mimi Nightingale
Having studied a degree in Communications and Advertising, Mimi is an ardent writer and media enthusiast. Her interests include words, live music and participating in millennial driven activities such as Netflix bingeing and excessive Instagram consumption. She is currently at large cutting a swathe through London's nightlife.