Dakarai Turner

Overused and Untrue: Marketing to Millennials

August 22, 2017

Let’s talk about the single most popular term in marketing for the past couple of years (don’t quote me); Millennials. Often referred to as 18-34 year olds even though that group is now between 20-36. This is that group of people that are all the rave right now and a term that every marketer spits out every chance they get. Brands are switching the way they communicate, what they stand for, and where they can be found all to appeal to this select group. So what are millennials? Let’s break it down by the numbers.

Now you can spit out all the facts in the world but the reality is millennials aren’t really that special. In my personal experience, some of my habits when it comes to social media, smartphones, and interacting with brands vastly differs from people my age let alone a millennial on the top of the spectrum at 36 years old. Generational divides get tricky because your bound to find all sorts of different habits across a 16 year group of individuals. However, in the eyes of marketers our actions and behaviours are aligned. There is this myth that we can all be reached the same way, on the same platforms, and at the same time.

There are so many different traits that go across this generation to the point where “marketing to millennials” just doesn’t really make much sense. I think Harley Davidson recently hit the nail in the coffin when they said as a brand they are not interested in marketing to millennials, rather marketing to free-thinking individuals with their latest “All for Freedom. Freedom for All” campaign.

Now what happens when you don’t blanket all millennials together is you’re able to zone in on characteristics and behaviour, and effectively target with your campaign. I mean, just google “marketing to millennials” and you can access the countless articles that tell marketers how to reach and interact with us. Is any of it true? Well of course. However, the issue is that portions of the information are true for a portion of millennials. The only stat that could live across the board from 20-36 year olds is most likely that we all have smartphones, and even then it’s questionable.

All in all there are several traits that apply as a blanket statement for millennials as a whole group. However, there needs to be a clear distinction. “Marketing to millennials” shouldn’t be a thing because there are so many differences within the group itself. What do you guys think of this trend of millennial marketing?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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