A little while ago a good client mentioned that “Millennials aren’t really our demographic for this”. It’s true, their product is aimed at the 45-60 age range and even the oldest millennial is only a little over 30. But the comment interested me because it implied that the client may be OK to go ‘old school’ with their marketing.
It’s also suggested that the 45-60 target group would somehow never change their behaviours. I should mention at this point that I’m not a millennial (I know). Definitions vary, but you need to be born between 1985 and 2000. Generation X are those born between roughly ’65 and ’85. I’m one of them, just, almost slipping into the Baby Boomer generation, pre-’65… so you can see I have a personal interest.
Millennial behaviour is excellent by the way. They distrust authority and want to make a positive impact on the world. They hate toxic work environments and social and ethical irresponsibility. They only really trust people like them and they are heavy users of modern technology. Good stuff, but in terms of marketing, you certainly need to get your message out in the digital world, be happy to share and be transparent.
At this point you may be thinking “hang on, I’m not a millennial but I’m a tech-savvy, baby-booming, vegan taking a sabbatical to raise awareness of plastic pollution”. Wow, rock on, go you. But the point is most of us shop online, use social media, stream Netflix, hot-desk and wonder how many air miles our vegetables have… if you check your mobile before you sleep and when you wake you’re well down the millennial behaviour path.
A quick aside… before starting Resolution with Becky I worked for a US tech startup. They pioneered the introduction of technology into the fitness and rehabilitation marketplaces; creating a software and hardware product to monitor, coach and motivate. A great idea, no question. You just have to look at all the fitness tech products and mobile apps to see how that area has exploded. But we had a problem, our product was new and expensive. A few enthusiasts would take it, but breaking into the bigger market was hard. I will mention a great book at this point “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A. Moore, whose insight was invaluable. But what I learnt was that age was no indicator of interest in our product, what mattered was the buyer’s attitude toward technology and their appetite for change.
With nearly all of us regular users of technology and modern media, whatever our age, our attitudes and behaviours are rapidly shifting. We are living in fascinating times, some of us embrace it, some of us go with it and there are some who fight it. However, almost everyone is now displaying ‘millennial behaviour’ and realising that can be key when it comes to creating successful marketing, whatever your target demographic.