Millennial Mashup

Today’s Struming deals with the growing and increasingly influential group, Millennials, defined loosely as those persons ages 16 to 34. The term “mashup” is a millennial concept, which does not refer to mashed potatoes (food or dance), but rather literally is defined as:

A derivative work consisting of two pieces of (generally digital) media joined together, such as a video clip with a different soundtrack applied for humorous effect, or a map overlaid with user-supplied data.

Millennials are a mashup of culture, attitudes, and ethnicities with a common bond of having grown up in a digital age where the concept of not having a PC/laptop, and more recently a tablet and/or smartphone doesn’t even hit their radar. They are connected to the world and they know its events in warp speed. (Hence, a printed newspaper is in reality yesterday’s news to this group).

Size matters, and the size of the Millennials is overwhelming. There are more Millennials than Boomers—79Million vs. 76Million, according the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The majority of Millennials are in fact the children of Boomers. Millennials’ attitudes and views are a function of their upbringing, particularly their parents’ more liberal views than those of preceding generations

My friends at MayoSeitz Media, a smart group of media experts, recently wrote an interesting piece on Millennials, called Inside the Head of Today’s Millennials. They look at various aspects of how Millennials act and think, but one thing is certain—they are the first truly digital generation and as such, digital marketing is driving their brand decisions. They noted that Millennials are more than twice as likely to:

–Be influenced by smartphone apps

–Be influenced by blogs and social networking sites

–Be influenced by in-store touch screen displays

Another interesting analysis of Millennials is a report by the Boston Consulting Group’s BCG Perspectives, called The Millennial Consumer. Based on their research they have identified a few key Millennial attitudes and trends, with significant marketing implications. Those attitudes as follows:

1. Speed–“I want it fast & I want it now”

Whether digitially or not, Millennials want stuff quickly and are impatient

2. Trust—“I trust my friends more than corporate mouthpieces”.

Millennials seek information from many sources particularly from those they trust

3. Social—“I am a social creature, online and offline”.

A surprise to no one, Millennials use social platforms more frequently than non-Millennials and connect with others through social media.

4. The World—“I want to make the world a better place”

They have a greater connection to social issues and environmental issues. They are more likely to be involved in cause campaigns and are more receptive to cause marketing.

Much as Boomers set the societal tone for the past 40 years, so too will the Millennials for years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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