Millennials: this year’s buzzword for all marketers. Everyone wants to know how to reach that unreachable Millennial, but exactly who is a Millennial? Recently, I was lumped into the Millennial generation by an obvious non-Millennial and I took extreme offense to this! I’m too old to be a Millennial. I was born in 1982. I’m too old, right? I talk to my opinion of Millennials on a daily basis and couldn’t be more different. I had always considered Millennials to be 29 and under, probably because that’s how old my brother is and he is a shining example of the perfect Millennial!
I took it upon myself to research this alien generation that everyone seems to be talking about, but nobody really knows who they are. Millennial Marketing considers Millennials to be anyone born between 1977 and 2000. According to The Council of Economic Advisors, Millennials are Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000’s. Yes, you read that right, the government has issued a report about this generation; it’s that confusing! I also found an online generation calculator that will tell you which generation you belong to. According to this information, Generation Y, those born between 1980-1994, are also known as Millennials. Goldman Sachs tells us that Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000. I could have researched for hours and found various sites with different information, but I think we can all agree, nobody is quite sure who the Millennial is.
One thing I think we can all agree on is that Millennials are more connected to technology than any other generation. Millennials use smartphones, tablets, Apple watches and laptops 24/7. Marketers have to be where the Millennial is. Simply running a commercial on television and radio will not reach the Millennial. With DVRs, Hulu, Pandora and Spotify, these Millennials are not watching TV and sitting around listening to the radio. Why would they? I can listen to my favorite genre of music on Pandora, wherever I am, and be more than content. I can turn on Spotify and listen to the exact artist I want to and only get one ad every 20 minutes. Since Millennials are glued to their devices, when they want information about a certain product, that’s where they’ll go because they want that information immediately. They aren’t going to pull out a phonebook (do they still make those?), drive to your store and conduct their research upon arrival. They’re going to Google the product they’re interested in and get millions of options to choose from. If you want to reach the Millennial, you have to have an online presence.
After all of this research, I’ve learned that Millennials just want to be themselves. They are who they are, regardless of what year they were born. I suppose I’m half Millennial!