UPDATE November 2, 2018 — Born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials are the most powerful generation in today’s world. As the first truly digital generation, they shop and spend very differently than the cohort that preceded them. Between age 18-38, Millennials’ are aging and their buying power continues to increase.
In an attempt to adjust to this new generation, marketers have tried a number of methods to reach the world’s most powerful audience.
Here are 10 Millennial marketing statistics that are relevant to marketers:
Smartphones serve as gateways to online services and information, and represent one of the best ways for marketers to reach audiences. As virtually every adult owns a cellphone and 94% of Millennials are smartphone owners, marketing on mobile is one of the best ways for advertisers to reach Millennial consumers. Millennial engagement on smartphones is noteworthy to marketers as well. 4 out of 10 Millennials say they interact with their phones more than they do with actual humans, and over three-quarters of Millennials average more than two hours a day on their smartphones. Marketing campaigns that target Millennials will need to take smartphone ownership and social media engagement into account.
In some ways, advertising to Millennials may be easier than advertising to other generations. Nearly 80% of Millennials believe that advertisements are necessary for brands to inform the public of information, and 46% of Millennials are not bothered by advertisements at all. By way of contrast, 39% of audiences age 35+ are not bothered by advertisements. The share of Millennials not bothered by advertisements increases to 75% if the content they are viewing is free.
58% of Millennial viewers don’t mind watching ads to support their favorite digital personalities. Consumer tolerance of specific ad formats varies in terms of ad preference:
Still, influencer marketing continues to be a viable tactic for marketers. Millennials are willing to watch sponsored videos as long as it includes “authentic personalities and is entertaining and useful.”
Second screen advertising is a booming marketing trend driven by the 68% of 20-36-year-olds using a second screen during traditional viewing. A second screen is a secondary device that a viewer is using while watching television, like a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, e-reader, or gaming device. Out of all Millennials in the world, 50% will be distracted by multiscreening. Mobile device proliferation, especially in smartphones, has changed the viewing experience entirely. Viewer and consumer attention on video content is now divided, presenting an engagement issue in advertising. Marketers will need to address this mobile distraction with platform-diversified advertising campaigns.
Millennials have turned to ad blocking to combat increasingly intrusive online ads. A little more than 1 out of 3 Millennials from ages 26-35 use at least one ad blocker on mobile or desktop, and 14% use an ad blocker on both mobile and desktop. While Millennials may not mind advertisements, these new consumers value authenticity, and ad blockers are used to weed out advertising formats that are not authentic. Marketers should move away from these formats and should seek to develop marketing content that provides value to Millennials (e.g. influencer marketing).
In a study about Millennial personal finance, 57% of Millennials reported making an unplanned purchase based on something they saw on their social media feed. 55% said that they had experienced “FOMO” (fear of missing out) via friends’ social feeds. Social networking is an important component to Millennials during an online purchasing decision because social networks represent primary sources of information. For instance, 88% of Millennials get their news from Facebook, and 67% of Millennials believe that they can learn anything from YouTube. Moreover, 33% of Millennials would likely purchase a product viewed in a YouTube how-to video.
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Brands are constantly chasing the attention of Millennial buyers. Spending more than a combined $600 billion, the 92 million Millennials in the United States have a lot of purchasing power. By 2020, millennial spending in the U.S. is expected to increase to $1.4 trillion, representing 30% of total retail sales in the future. If they want to capitalize, brands need to learn to court Millennials the right way with a variety of proven of marketing techniques.
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If brands want to market to Millennials, they’ll need to create consumption opportunities on every platform. This means that seamless shopping processes that allow Millennials to transition from advertisements on smartphones and desktops to online purchasing platforms and physical stores. For instance, 57% of Millennials will compare prices of products in store and online. In particular, brands will need to integrate social media channel as 47% of Millennial consumers consider social media in their shopping journey.
Millennials consume more digital video and media than the average person, and 35% prefer viewing on YouTube. This is nearly double the 19% of Millennials that prefer watching on traditional television. Within YouTube, Millennials 18-34 enjoy every form of content more than adults over 35. Millennials are adopting a digital approach to video discovery, suggesting that online video distribution and advertising will only become more significant.
Social media plays a key role in how 90% of Millennials interact with others and process information. Even more impressive than Millennial presence on social media is Millennial engagement behavior on social. For instance, Millennials will average 15 minutes editing a single piece of content posted on social, and 42% will double check information posted on social is accurate and authentic. To reach Millennials, brands need to be present on social media and need to create content that is engaging to capture Millennial attention.
Traditional marketing strategies employ celebrities as the face of a brand to build relationships with audiences. But with the rise of social media came the rise of social media stars. Now, social media stars lauded for their authenticity and relatability are the true Millennial icons. In the YouTube community, 70% of teenage Millennials prefer YouTube creators to traditional celebrities. Even more, 40% of all Millennial viewers believe that their favorite creator might understand them better than their friends. These Millenial marketing statistics are a striking indication of the placement of this generation’s trust and attention.