Understanding the millennial mind: insights for marketers

Who exactly are millennials, and what drives them? We take a look at the millennial's psyche to inform your marketing efforts.

Understanding the millennial mind: insights for marketers

Millennials are now the largest cohort globally, making up 23% of the world’s population, or 1.8 billion strong across the globe. Their burgeoning presence and influence on culture, industry, and the global economy, is more far-reaching than any other generation in the past, likely as a result of high internet penetration and use rates across the world.

This effect has become even more exemplified recently due to the increasingly digitalized work environment in a post-lockdown world. Millennials, and their successors Gen Z, champion individualism, so it is difficult to paint a metaphorical picture depicting a surefire way for any company to market to them.

However, with the general knowledge of their behavioral traits, you can at least draw a basic outline of how to best target a millennial audience.

Looking for Purpose

Idealism is a trait common amongst all young people, regardless of age, that is lost as people age. However, it seems millennials have not lost their youthful fervor, which is actually good for the world.

Millennials are constantly striving to do something purposeful with their lives. Whether it is achieving a comfortable life through creative pursuit, becoming internet famous, or achieving success at their job, millennials tend to be idealistic and individualistic.

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Due to their pursuits, they may often put filters on life and strive for individual happiness. eCommerce marketers should target online niche groups and creative collectives through social media and affiliate marketing to best tie this trait to their marketing efforts.

A Desire for Impactful Action

One of the key traits common amongst millennials that marketers can use is that millennials want to bring positive change to the world. Millennials are more likely than any older demographic group to take on environmental and political causes through volunteering, protesting, donating, and petitioning.

With a notably higher education rate and recent changes in voting patterns - millennials are now more likely to vote than any other demographic group in the United States. Indeed, millennials seem the most qualified to make real change.

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In fact, a recent Harris poll found that most influencers in the US are motivated to create content primarily because it's their passion, instead of for chasing clout.

If you are looking to market products or services to millennials, avoid gimmicky tactics, and both prioritize and streamline substance. Working with influencers/content creators (called influencer marketing) who know their audience can go a great way to getting your brand out there too.

There is a surfeit of content on the internet, and marketers are constantly competing for millennials' attention due to them being the most dominant force online and in the economy. So, it is also important to approach them with a fresh angle.

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Striving for a Better Work-Life Balance

Despite the fact that millennials spend a lot of time thinking about work and actually on the job, a majority of them are looking for a better balance between work and free time. Millennials want more time on hobbies, traveling, and making new memories with friends.

A common sight in cafes, millennials tend to be mobile workers, and prefer flexible working arrangements.

Both media professionals, employers, and businesses have taken note of this and responded in positive ways. From remote work to in-office leisure amenities, millennials are given more time to discontent and segment their work days. With their days more spread out, millennials have more opportunities to find and interact with your content online.

Additionally, more time away from work means more time with family or doing something. The millennial demographic is so active, productive, and enticing to marketers because they are at the forefront of everything.

Marketers can appeal to their need for work-life balance by framing things in a holistic manner that Ultimately, because millennials are striving for so much, marketers can reach them in more places.

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