Young consumers are a coveted demographic among marketers, who might be targeting this group incorrectly by relying on old, dated research and data about “Millennials.”
Believe it or not, the first Millennials are now in their late 30s and raising children. They were born in 1980 (depending on whose definition you use), making the oldest Millennials 36 years old. The last Millennials were born anywhere from 1994 to 2000.
When marketers use the word “Millennial,” they are actually talking about a group that includes three distinct demographics: high schoolers, twentysomethings, and their parents.
The reason it’s important for marketers to understand the classification “Millennial” correctly, even if they never use the term in their marketing communications, is due to the fact that brands must market to target audiences not simply based on their age, sex, income or other numerical demographics, but instead on how those demographics explain how consumers act.
Much of the research floating around about Millennials was created when this generation first began to emerge as consumers. This data, created about consumers who are now closer to 40 than 30, is not valid for the Millennials of today who are the Twentysomethings in our workplace we typically think of when referring to Millennials.
Which Millennial Do You Want?
If your marketing department relies on research conducted about older Millennials, you will miss the mark when trying to understand your younger target customer’s technology use, media consumption habits, payment preferences, renting vs. owning habits, role models, cultural references, lifestyle interests, work habits and other behaviors.
Brands targeting “Millennials” will create less-effective content if they don’t segregate all three Millennial age groups when creating content marketing strategies.