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BizReport : Ecommerce : September 18, 2008

Millennials - Marketing to a new generation

Typically aged between 7 and 26, Millennials are a truly digital generation. They are, perhaps, the most technically literate generation to date and one that barely knows a world without email, texting and the Internet. So, how should marketers approach this new generation?

by Helen Leggatt

Millennials are a social bunch and utilize many channels to communicate and engage. Mobile phones, instant messaging, email and social networks all enable Millennials to keep connected and informed - something they crave. Around 66% of Millennials regularly use Facebook.

Millennials multitask, and they do it well. This is the generation most likely to be sat in front of the television while listening to their iPod, texting their friends and surfing the Internet. They like to personalize their online and mobile environments, able to source and install tools to make life easier.

According to Don Tapscott, in his book Wikinomics, Millennials are "skeptical of authority and often oppose censorship by governments". To this end they are "scrutinizers" that like to debunk, exchange views and question. Environmental issues are close to a Millennial's heart.

So how should marketers best approach Millennials? Openly and creatively. This generation is fully aware of marketing tactics such as product placement, online tracking and commercial messaging. All their life they have been advertised at, via their various devices, and they are easily able to filter it out (if not mentally then they certainly know the best ad blocking software, and where to get it).

The Millennials, Net Generation, Gen Y or whatever label you attach to them, need to be spoken to directly across multiple channels, engaged in conversation and, most importantly, be acknowledged and "heard".

Tags: Gen Y, Millennial

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