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BizReport : Advertising : August 23, 2018

Report IDs differences in Millennials, Boomers that marketers must understand

New data out from Pew Research underscores differences between Millennials and Boomers that could help brands and marketers better understand how to market to the younger generation.

by Kristina Knight

While Millennials may be the demographic most comfortable with the digital space, they are also the being found to be the hardest to engage. That's the word from new KPMG data which indicates that nearly half (46%) of CEOs believe their business doesn't have a firm grasp on Millennials' interests, wants, or needs.

That could be because many businesses aren't taking into account how different the Millennial generation is from Gen Xers and, perhaps more importantly, from Baby Boomers. For decades Boomers have been the largest generation and have also been the generation with the most disposable cash. However, their numbers are being quickly taken over by Millennials who may not have the same amount of disposable cash but who, as a group, can make or break a business.

Here's what researchers with Pew found when they broke down Millennials vs. Boomers.

First, Millennial men and women are better educated. Researchers found about one third (29% men, 36% women) of Millennials have at least a Bachelor's degree versus 15% of Boomer men and 9% of Boomer women. But book-smarts aren't the only difference.

Having been raised with technology, Millennials are more likely to see and ignore overt advertising in favor of recommendations from trusted friends, family, or even social media influencers.

Millennial women, by the way, are much more likely to work outside the home than Boomer women; 71% of Millennial women are employed while, during the same timeframe of their lives, 58% of Boomer women were not employed.

Second, Millennials are more likely to be an ethnic minority. In 1965, when Boomers were the younger adults, 79% identified as White and only 8% as Hispanic or Black. For Millennials, 56% identify as white, and the percentages for minorities have doubled for Hispanic (21%), and nearly doubled for Black (13%).

Finally, Millennials are much more likely to be urban dwellers than to live outside city zones. For Boomers about 67% lived in metro areas and 33% lived outside cities. But for Millennials about 88% are living in metropolitan areas.

These changes in demographics and living situations mean that brands and marketers need to embrace more cultural diversity in both how campaigns are written and how campaigns are imaged.

The full Pew report can be accessed here.

Tags: advertising, advertising tips, boomer marketing, KPMG, millennial marketing, Pew Research

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