Millennials High on Digital and Friends


by Jack Loechner,
September 7, 2011

According to the “American Millennials” study from Barkley, with Service Management Group and The Boston Consulting Group, Millennials, compared to other generations, reported greater awareness of newer, youth-oriented cause marketing campaigns and greater exposure to campaigns through social media, while Non-Millennials rely on newspaper and direct mail.

Jeff Fromm, senior vice president, Barkley, says “… since the Millennials generation is larger than the Baby Boomers… and three times bigger than Generation X… understanding of Millennials’ needs, tastes and behaviors will clearly shape… future business decisions… “

Highlights from the Study:

  • Millennials watch significantly less TV than Non-Millennials, says the report, watching 20-plus hours/week (26% versus 49%). When not watching live TV, Millennials are much more likely to watch shows mainly on their laptops (42% versus 18%), with DVR (40% versus 36%), or On-Demand (26% versus 18%)
  • 70% of Millennials reported feeling more excited when their friends agreed with them about where to shop, eat and play. Only 48% of older adults were as heavily influenced by their friends and colleagues. Additionally, more Millennials than Non-Millennials reported using a mobile device while shopping to research products (50% versus 21%)
  • The majority of all respondents shop alone (60% Millennials, 69% Non- Millennials). However, Millennials report more shopping than Non-Millennials with family unit, spouse and children (13% versus 6%) and with adult friends (4% versus 2%)
  • 70% of Millennials want to visit every continent in their lifetime. Fewer than half of older adults report that goal
  • Millennials accounted for 18% of their monthly restaurant spend in the fast-casual format, compared to only 13% for Non-Millennials. Additionally, Millennials crave snacking opportunities, and are more than twice as likely as older people to seek them out mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late at night
  • Millennials demand more knowledgeable and fashionable sales associates (29% versus 19%) while Non-Millennials value sales associates who know to apply discounts and offer promotions (65% versus 51%)

And, additional study information reported by EMarketer, shows that a third of Millennials like brands more if they use social media, nearly double the percentage of older adults who said the same. In addition, over 30% of Millennials thought it was annoying for brands to be on sites like Facebook and Twitter, making this group less tolerant of social media marketing.


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