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3 Truths on Millennial Engagement With Digital Advertising

By May 21, 2015March 21st, 2018No Comments

Several weeks ago, Coegi had the opportunity to attend the 2015 Truth in Media Summit hosted by True Media in celebration of their 10thanniversary. This event featured seminars led by several leaders advertising. While each presentation was unique, there was one recurring topic- millennials and how to engage them. Following blogs and social media, you’ll no doubt encounter the discussion.

It’s challenging to fit this generation into a specific mold. Some call millennials entitled while others choose to describe them as innovative or ambitious. Regardless of opinions, digital advertisers cannot deny the presence, influence and buying power of these young adults. We know millennials have money to spend, but the question remains, what makes them tick? We have outlined three of the most important millennial traits that marketers and brands need to understand if they want to reach this valuable group of consumers.

1.  Millennials are spoiled…in regards to their Smart Phones.
Millennials want it, and they want it now. According to Facebook Blueprint, Facebook’s training course for advertisers; thumbs are the new remote control, and ads are our entertainment. There has been a massive shift towards mobile – 79% of Smart Phone users will only abandon their device for two hours of their waking day. People can find anything in the world when they need it, and they won’t wait.

During the time millennials spend on their mobile device, a sizable chunk is spent on social networks. On Facebook alone, users will log in an average of 14 times per day on their smart phone or tablet. This makes catching the eye of a potential client or consumer exceptionally more probable than the pre-newsfeed era. In the past, advertisers relied on the hope that consumers might pass their billboard or catch a commercial on the right channel. Now an advertiser can optimize to reach multiple potential customers at once, with digital and social ads created specifically for that niche target.

Millennials see more value in a mobile world than their parents. According to Zipcar, 40% of Millennials would rate losing their phone as a bigger hardship than losing their automobile. They find being denied access to their desktop, television, or laptop to be a greater loss.

The millennial affinity for mobile is fantastic news for advertisers and brands that are already employing a mobile-first digital strategy. For those that aren’t, they need to get on mobile, or get left behind. If brands can adequately tap the mobile market, there’s a much higher chance that their campaigns will catch the eye of Gen Y. The data strongly suggests that companies allocate optimization, research and budget towards the mobile-millennial-generation.

2. Millennials are Emotional and Social Shoppers
Millennials are buying based on emotion more than ever. This doesn’t mean they’re impulsively swiping their cards or buying out Ben and Jerry’s after a breakup. Millennials are a generation that has grown up understanding that anything can happen at any time. They have been exposed to tragedies and real time news reports of world-wide disasters. Because of this environment of vulnerability, millennials live in the moment. Paired with having the world at their fingertips and information flying by them at an increasing speed, the in-the-moment mindset has created a group who craves experience and meaning over simply buying things.

To millennials, experience matters. It’s been coined the desire for discovery. Millennials want to identify with brands, and to continue to learn. “They’re tuning in to watch videos that inspire, educate or entertain” says Millward Brown Digital. Statistics show that in the past year millennials have powered a 280% growth in food channel subscriptions. Not to mention, 75% of them engaged via mobile. Sell a millennial a decent pot once in their life, they might be a return customer; teach a millennial how to expertly use a pot, and you’ll cultivate brand loyalty.

In the cluttered media landscape that we operate in, making a first impression that actually resonates with millennials is more important than ever. Because of its visual nature, video advertising is one of the most effective ways to connect with consumers and appeal to their emotions. Statistics by Video Brewery report that 90% of shoppers agree that video is helpful in making shopping decisions, but they’ll only watch your video for about 10 seconds before deciding if it’s worth their time. 60% of viewers also fall off by the 2 minute mark. That’s not long for a first impression.

The buying journey has become more complex from click to purchase. Sight, sound and motion matter. It’s crucial to make sure that first impressions are lasting and brands deliver more value than they may have given consumers in the past.

3. Millennials Care About Social Issues
While millennials do live in the moment, Gen Y-ers are not frivolous with their buying power. Millennials care about their financial impact. If a brand’s belief platform isn’t parallel with a millennials’, they may not back the brand’s business endeavors. What a brand stands for publicly can influence whether they’ll receive support of what is now 1/3 of the nation’s trendsetters.

Recent data from Google and YouTube suggests that 45% of consumers under the age of 34 are more likely to do repeat business with a company who identifies as equality-focused over a competitor. Googlehighlighted Burger King as a case study, noting the success of limited edition campaigns “We Are All The Same Inside” and “Be Your Way.” Burger King served the same burger they do any other day of the week, but with a new wrapper featuring the equality based slogans. In this particular study, the campaign reached 20% of the population, and millennials over-indexed by 4.8X. Millennials believe that businesses should be measured by more than just profit, and they’re showing that they will stand by brands that share their personal views and political affiliation.

Millennials are requiring brands to be ethical and honest.  When surveyed, 61% of millennials say that they feel personally responsible to make a difference in the world- and they will apply their resources accordingly.

Millennials are tuned in, they’re listening and they’re buying. positions, “they are now firmly established in the workplace, and they’re a force to be reckoned with.” Their impact in the marketplace is becoming heard.

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