Millennials Marketing: Mobile & Social Media Required

6 Actionable Millennial Marketing Tips [Research]

millennials and their phones Don’t underestimate the buying power and influence of the Millennial Generation, those people born between 1977 and 2000.

Despite often being classified with Gen Xers, people in the millennial demographic exhibit distinct characteristics of their own that marketers need to understand in order to create appropriate products and messaging.

Millennial demographics

Also known as Gen Y since they follow Gen X, millennials are roughly 80 million strong and comprise about a quarter of the US population. By 2030, projections are that millennials will outnumber baby boomers.

(Note: Different data sources vary on their estimates of the size of the Millennial population. In part, this is attributable to a difference in the birth years used.)

Millennials vs Boomers

From a demographic perspective, millennials are a marketer’s dream segment according to Experian.

  1. One out of four has a college degree.
  2. About a third are married
  3. Three out of five own a home.
  4. The average discretionary spend is $11,317 annually.

Millennials are mobile

Based on eMarketer‘s estimates, over 90% of millennials have a mobile phone and over half of them have a smartphone. Further almost 60% of them access the mobile internet. (Need more mobile data? Here’s the roundup.)

Millennials spend 14% more time interacting with their mobile devices during the average week than other age groups based on research by Experian. They tend to be early technology adopters and rank above average in use of these devices.

Millenials eMarketer

Actionable Millennial Marketing Tip: Make your content marketing mobile-friendly since there’s a strong chance this segment will consume it on a mobile device. Include a tailored mobile website, a mobile app and mobile search. 

Millennials are technophiles

Over half of millennials are early technology adopters according to Experian’s findings. As a result, they seek to be the first to own the latest electronic equipment, they’ll pay a premium price for an electronic product, and they actively desire to be a source of information on electronic offerings to others.

  1. Early adopter millennials are 20% more likely to use a tablet than the average millenial. 
  2. Television is still a part of early adopter millennial’s media mix but it indexes below average in time spent by device.
  3. Interestingly, about two-thirds of early adopter millennials used a gaming console in the past week. In part, gaming activity has migrated to other devices including mobile phones. 

Experian - Millennials are Early Adopters

In terms of time spent by device during the last week, personal media trumped shared media for early adopter millennials. Specifically, tablets, mobile phones and ereaders were where these Gen Ys spent their time. The message here is: I want my media my way!

millennials-experian by device last 7 days Actionable Millennial Marketing Tip: Leverage the power of early adopter millennials through the use of mobile content provided on the users’ terms. This means responsive design that recognizes and adapts content presentation to the device being used.

Millennials are online and social

If you want to find millennials, try the Internet since 93.3% of them are there. Further they have the highest social networking penetration of any generation and the highest Facebook and Twitter use rates to match, based on eMarketer estimates.

  1. 75% of millennials are on Facebook.
  2. About one fifth of millennials are on Twitter. Further, over half of US Twitter users are millennials despite the fact that Twitter’s early audience was older.
  3. Over 80% of millennials view digital video. (Or about 40% of all digital video viewers are millennials.)

eMarketer - Millennial Social Media

  1. Early adopter millennials are one third more likely to IM/chat than the average millennial.
  2. Early adopter millennials are more likely to consume media, listen to music and check email on a mobile device.
  3. Early adopter millennials are more likely than average to visit social networks and blogs.

Millenial Activity - Last 7 Days -Experian-1

Actionable Millennial Marketing Tips:

  • Be present on social media networking sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to reach millennials.
  • Incorporate video into your digital media offering. Provide informational as well as entertaining content.
  • Offer chat for customer service and sales to millennials. (Understand that not all chat applications are secure enough for transactions!)

How millennials shop

Based on Expierian’s findings, millennials seek and process different information before making purchase decisions.

  1. Millennials are more likely to visit search and social media networks before visiting a retail website than the US online population.
  2. Millennials are less likely to look at email or visit reward and directory sites before visiting a retail website.
  3. Millennials are more likely to visit fashion content and portal sites before visiting a retail website.

Actionable Millennial Marketing Tip: Provide quality content to support your purchase process on search (mobile included), social media and other relevant sites. This doesn’t mean push your promotions but rather answer your prospects questions and show them how to use your products.

Like the generations preceding them, millennials are setting their own course for how they use technology and consume content. Craft your content to meet the habits of this powerful consumer segment.

Are you marketing to millennials? If so, what has your experience been with what works and what doesn’t work?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


BTW—Buy your copy of MarketingSherpa’s 2013 Email Benchmark Report TODAY March 22, 2013 and save $100 using discount code: 435-BM-4012! It’s 209 pages that distill the most essential email insights to help you run successful email marketing campaigns.

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • http://soldierswifecrazylife.com Julie

    I was listening to a podcast about this, “If you want to find millennials, try the Internet since 93.3% of them are there. Further they have the highest social networking penetration of any generation and the highest Facebook and Twitter use rates to match, based on eMarketer estimates.”

    That businesses really need to keep this in mind as us Millennials are the ones who are wanting to be apart of everything now and we are very much online.