Bar none, millennials are the most influential age group in all modern economies.
As the first true generation to embrace digital technology from an early age into their personal and professional lives, millennials are leading the way in the new global tech-driven economy.
It's about time marketers started to notice and appreciate their presence.
The Developing Digital Economy
While most people do not associate millennials with massive wealth or economic progress, especially compared to the baby boomer generation, as millennials finish paying off student debts and transition into higher-paying roles, people will think twice. Millennials are the highest educated group in the US and Asia, and the earliest of whom are in their mid-20s.
Given that baby boomers are being displaced from jobs due to technological changes, retirement decisions, and lifestyle changes, millennials are there to take on their roles and, subsequently, their salaries.
Millennials are highly-trained to use digital tools to assist them in their jobs, and as long as they keep adapting to new technology as they have been in the past, their roles are cemented. Within the next ten or so years, most millennials will reach the peak of their careers, will have children, and start saving lots of money for their retirement.
With all this comes many major consumer decisions in which marketers should take interest. Millennials are very brand-loyal as long as brands stay consistent in quality and authenticity.
While the age of someone who purchases baby food may be consistent within the previous 20 years, the channels in which this consumer base is reached have changed drastically. Marketers should pay similar attention to where millennials can be reached and who is making the purchasing decisions in millennial households. This example applies to all sorts of products and services.
Millennials have been the largest population cohort in the United States since 2020. The population divide between millennials and other generations will increase at even greater rates in the near future. This is due to an increasing immigrant population and just the nature of life itself as baby boomers, and Gen X get older. Similar changes have already been seen in many European and Asian countries.
These population changes have severe effects on how marketers target products and brands. Millennials champion tolerance, work-life balance, personal flexibility, education, and digital technology. Not to mention, millennials seek purpose and meaning in everything they do.
Marketers are met with a unique challenge when facing this diverse group. Despite millennials being very active online in the past, as personal responsibilities develop, there will be fewer avenues for millennials to see branded content.
The shrinking attention spans of younger millennials, and adventurous spirits of older millennials, add more fuel to the flame of this idea. The global population may be becoming more connected online, but as millennials start building families, their social circles and tastes will likely shrink.
Millennials aren’t just taking center stage in the economy. They also are headlining, promoting, and championing social movements. As older generations pass away and millennials earn more money, millennials will have a remarkable ability to impact social change through nonprofits, structured activism, and politics.
Marketing, at its core, is a game of optics and opportunities in the digital age. Social movements similarly rely on the newness and relevance of an event. For a generation so entrenched in political and social movements to be reached, media practitioners need to bridge these events and movements by taking into account the role of companies from a macro perspective.
This may seem to be a bit of a tall task, especially for a social media manager, but it will eventually become essential. Brands are caught in a bit of a bind, where social movements are often irrelevant to business production.
Yet, nevertheless, their importance is understated to the youngest two generations: millennials and Gen Z. If done distastefully, brands will be harangued through social media, but if done the right way, brands will give rightful audiences a platform to be heard.
The passionate zeal held by millennials toward social activism seems to be in full-throttle internationally, so it’d be wise to carefully develop your social media marketing strategy.
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