Millennials – in particular 30-something year olds with growing disposable income and mature media usage patterns – are one of the largest and most critical consumer subsets. Understanding how to attract them starts with understanding that millennials have a distinct media usage pattern that differs from their predecessors and will likely differ from the next generation.
Millennials who are making meaningful purchases in the current consumer market are what we like to call “digital natives.” That means they grew up with computers and the Internet. That said, 30-something year olds can probably still remember a time when they needed to look up directions instead of relying on their smartphones and GPS, or turned to their friends for referrals rather than hitting Google and Yelp for the most up-to-date business reviews.
The result is that millennials with the most purchasing power (read: yes, older) have a distinct media usage pattern that blends some of the most digital-savvy habits of Generation Y and Z with more traditional habits inherited from Generation X and the Baby Boomers. Cracking the millennial media usage pattern helps your business target and engage this critically important consumer subset by targeting your spend where they are most likely spending their time.
The mobile media usage pattern:
Let’s start with where to find them. More than 70% of all millennials have a smartphone. 30-somethings are no exception. However, as ultra-rich tablets, such as the iPad Pro, are hitting the market, these tech-savvy gadget lovers are turning in their laptops and desktops for more streamlined options that fit their jet-set blend of work-life-balance and remote connectivity. It goes without saying that all millennials are connecting to the Internet in some way, shape, or form. At the same time, older millennials are still purchasing paid television subscriptions (as opposed to strictly streaming options such as Netflix and Hulu), newspaper subscriptions, and print books. Your media planning should take into consideration the value of a heavy emphasis on mobile and tablet-ready trends without completely abandoning traditional media outlets. We recommend a 60% – 70% digital spend compared to traditional media in most cases. If you’re unsure where your product or service fits into this balance, our team of digital experts are available to guide you in the media planning process.
Business meets pleasure:
One important trend to note is that the average millennial media usage pattern often blends business with pleasure. While millennials are surfing Facebook, they may also be scanning for news headlines and updates. While they are Snapchatting their friends, they may be sending clips from the most recent presidential debates. This important media usage pattern suggests that millennials use their personal experiences to choose their business partners. Unlike Generation X, which typically drew a staunch line between their work life and their personal life, millennials want to invest in brands and business counterparts that speak to them on a personal level. Let your media mix help them make this decision by humanizing your marketing campaigns. Yes, it is always important to earnestly communicate the value and trustworthiness of your brand – but don’t forget to showcase what makes you human along the way. For example, Square does a great job of striking this balance. While showing how their hardware can transform a smartphone into a point of sale system, complete with top-of-the-line security and speed, they feature small, local (often quirky) businesses such as candy makers or regional photographers. These campaigns speak to the millennial media pattern by blending business and pleasure seamlessly.
Cracking emerging media usage patterns:
Don’t be afraid to explore emerging media trends. 30-something millennials may still enjoy a great Super bowl commercial, but they are usually early adopters of new media trends and eagerly incorporate new technology into their media usage pattern. That’s right, we’re telling you it’s okay to jump on the Pokemon Go craze, explore how augmented reality and 3D mapping could elevate your media mix, and to keep an eye out for new trends. Our Orlando marketing agency has the inside track on emerging digital tools and we can help you craft something that will keep your business on the cutting edge of your millennial audience’s interests. Click here to check out our case studies and some ideas we’ve used to help other businesses like you.
Planning a perfect media mix for the millennial audience starts with understanding that their media usage pattern is a one-of-a-kind balancing act of golden-age advertising techniques and futuristic digital trends. The result has generated some of the most fun and innovative marketing we’ve ever done and we are excited to share this unique experience with you.