Millennial Data [ Research and Charts]

millennial dataMillennials are today’s trendsetters.

They’re the segment marketers need to attract despite the fact that, as a group, they don’t have as much economic power as their older counterparts.

Yet millennials are highly educated, technically savvy, and concerned about the world around them.

Nielsen’s Millennial Research from February 2014 underscores a number of significant attributes of this important demographic. This information provides a guide to help marketers adjust their strategy appropriately.millennial data

Go west young man (literally)

Millennials tend to concentrate in the western US (as well as Washington DC). This growing population will drive demand in these areas.  millennial US geographic concentration

Millennials are moving across the country from their boomer parents. By contrast boomers tended to flock to the east coast. Looking at the top 10 markets for millennials versus boomers, it appears that children are moving far away from their parents.

millennial geography in the US

Actionable Marketing Tip: Understand the westward movement away from the East Coast. To appreciate their millennial sensibilities examine cities like Austin.

Millennials love cities

62% of millennials prefer urban areas to the suburbs and beyond. This is contributing the higher growth rate of cities over non-urban areas for the first time since the 1920s. This a factor in the rise of “New Urbanism“, specifically creating areas that are culturally diverse, with pedestrian walkways and public transportation, parks and different types of housing. Among the cities exemplifying the New Urbanism are Miami, Memphis, San Antonio, Portland and Jersey City.

40% of millennials plan to live in urban areas in the future.

Millennials are more likely to walk to work in line with their desire for pedestrian friendly environments.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Focus on urban areas to reach millennials. This has broad implications for housing, automobiles and other products. This demographic will need products that work in an urban environment. Think apartment living.

Home sweet millennial home

Two-thirds of Millennials rent. They live with others, either roommates or family members. They were hit hard by the recession.

 31%  of millennials lived with their parents in 2010, up 6 percentage points from 2005.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Enable millennials to express themselves with home amenities that lend themselves to short term living arrangements. Think transportable.

Millennial’s  financial well being

Younger millennials’ median household income is $24,973 and older millennials’ median household income is $47,854.

36% of millennials get financial help from their parents.

66% of millennials under age 25 owned a car, down 7 percentage points from 2007. They’re more likely to own electric or hybrid vehicles in line with their concerns about the environment.

From a financial perspective, while millennials are highly educated, they have student loans to pay off. Due to coming of age during the recession, they’re more like their Greatest generation grandparents. They’re more austere and money conscious.

In terms of banking and investments, millennials prefer to handle their finances on their own.  They’re less likely than their parents to have contact with a financial advisor although this may be due to the fact that they don’t have sufficient funds to invest.

Millennials are the heaviest users of online banking. Further, they tend to use debit and ATM cards in lieu of credit cards. This may be attributable to their low income.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Adapt your financial offerings to be mobile and online accessible to service millennials the way they want to interact with financial institutions.

nielsen-millennial-report-feb-2014-wealth-1

nielsen-millennial-report-feb-2014-income producing assets

Millennial wealth

Millennials account for 14.7% of people with over $2 million in assets, just behind  their Boomer parents. This is attributable to startup and entrepreneurial activity.

8% of Millennials have their own businesses. 

2.5 million millennial households have over $100,000 in income.

San Diego, Austin and Chicago have higher concentrations of wealthy Millennials than Boomers.  These cities are centers for the “Creative Class”, knowledge workers, intellectuals and artists who value artistic expression, education and knowledge.

Actionable Marketing Tip: Don’t assume that all millennials have limited financial means. They account for a good proportion of people with large assets. Further, they tend to entrepreneurial.

nielsen-millennial-report-feb-2014-affluent markets

Where millennials spend their money

Millennials don’t like old school marketing. They’ve grown up with computers and select the information they need online and on social media.

Millennials tend to be cost-conscious. This may be attributable to their relatively lower income and higher debt (in the form of student loans.) As a result, they tend to buy at warehouse clubs and other less expensive stores.

nielsen-millennial-report-feb-2014-shoppingGiven their age, what’s interesting is millennials’ relatively lower spend on carbonated beverages (aka soda) and wine. Their healthy lifestyle is shown in terms of higher cereal costs and lower ice cream costs.

Nielsen-Millennials-Annualized spending

Actionable Marketing Tip: Adjust your product offering to meet millennials’ buying behavior. They’re budget conscious as well as environmentally aware.

Marketers need to understand millennials in order to be able to reach and engage them. This means appreciating what distinguishes them from their boomer parents and what makes them tick.

Millennials are value conscious urbanites, who in many ways are more like their Greatest generation grandparents as a result of the recession. Yet they march to the tune of their own technological drummer.

How have you adapted your products and marketing to meet the needs of millennials? If you’re a millennial, what are you seeking from marketers?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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

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Thanksgiving Thank You

thank you-womanThanksgiving is about more than turkeys (while many of us have a lot of those in our lives).

Thanksgiving is a special time for appreciating what we have. Not just the things and money but more importantly, the relationships and people.

Since Thanksgiving is closely associated with Christmas shopping, the commercialization means that our ability to sit back and think about what’s truly important tends to get lost. 

Here are 31 ways to take the time to thank others in your lives and to make Thanksgiving an all year round celebration.

Retail

  1. Offer samples. This is an old fashioned way to get people to try new products. Take a page from Trader Joes that always has something cooking in the back of their stores to entice customers to try something new. Other options include putting a sample in customers’ packages.
  2. Give away swag with your name on it. Pens are an ideal example. The objective is to keep your name top of mind.
  3. Provide a respite to your customers from their lives. While this is at the heart of restaurants, coffee establishments, give your patrons a place to rest. This is important for those parents, husbands and others. Knitting shops excel at this. By having your customers spend time in your store gives them ideas about new things they need.
  4. Have a pot of coffee always brewing. Banks learned the value of this tactic.
  5. Show movies with a theme related to your products. Give your customers a reason to visit your shop or business. For example, Lion Brand Studio shows a movie every month with a special knitting or crocheting scene.
  6. Support your community. Use your window and/or shop to promote and support local events.
  7. Make your store special for the holidays. Bring in live music or Santa to give prospects a reason to stop by. Use this as an opportunity to support local musicians.
  8. Let local groups meet in your space. Many small organizations have limited options when it comes to meetings. Offer your classroom or other space. The benefit is that by being in the context of your shop, they start to think about buying from you.
  9. Give away your leftovers. Whether it’s food or last season’s product, offer your company’s excess to a charity.
  10. Offer free delivery. This is a great way to make your customers love you. Many restaurants and pharmacies do this.

Events and activities

  1. Offer special focused events. Get your customers something special. Think readings or other events that relate to your business.
  2. Create special shopping events. Give your best customers the white glove treatment. For example, have a special breakfast hours for executives.
  3. Hold the “Doctor Is In” sessions. Offer special help to get your customers involved with your product. For example, the Lion Brand Studio has a Crochet Doctor and a Knitting Doctor.
  4. Support related Meetups. Provide customer help by allowing others to use your retail establishment to meeting in your space. It gets people into your store and starts them thinking about your products.
  5. Throw yourself a birthday party. Celebrate your firm’s anniversary. Don’t forget the cake! It’s nice to offer customers some party food and a discount.
  6. Offer group outings. Get your customers together to take a related trip.
  7. Partner with related businesses to give prospects and customers a reason to visit your store. Wine stores do this with regular wine tastings in collaboration with distributors. For example Zachy’s in Scarsdale includes cheese tastings.

Owned media

  1. Thank your customers. Take the time to send a personalized message via email or even better using the post office.
  2. Write a blog post thanking your customers. Put how you feel into words and let the whole world know. This is particularly important if your business is focused on a mission beyond making money.
  3. Celebrate your customers’ birthday. Send them a card and give them a special gift such as a discount to recognize their birthdays.
  4. Feature your customers on your blog. Include their photograph and explain why they’re special.
  5. Select an employee or customer of the month. Put up a photograph in your office or retail establishment.
  6. Show off your customers’ work. This works well if you’ve got a crafts business or if you sponsor a local team. You can use their finished products or just highlight a special moment at a game.
  7. Promote the local stars. Use your window or blog to highlight people in your community who have just done something special. Think authors or painters.

Social media

  1. Spotlight your customers on social media. Highlight special customers on Facebook, etc. Oreos does a great job of this on Facebook.
  2. Promote your colleagues and their work on various social media platforms. Don’t just expect people to contact you.
  3. Thank prospects, clients and social media colleagues for following you. Here’s an unexpected example from United.
  4. Leave meaty comments. Participate in the social dialog on other platforms.
  5. Respond to comments on your blog and other social media platforms. Realize that social media isn’t a one-way street.
  6. Write recommendations for colleagues and others on LinkedIn. Don’t wait until you’re looking for a job to get active and don’t just check off an endorsement box. Take the time to put down your support.
  7. Offer strong content to customers’ blogs. Help your community by contributing useful information.

Most important of all, let those in your life know how much they mean to you.

Please add your recommendations for thanking others in the comments section.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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

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Why Facebook Is Lame

Teen texting in NYC-Ed YourdonTeen behavior is significantly different from the rest of the marketplace. While this isn’t new, how today’s high school students—who’ve grown up digital—use their devices and technology, is new.

At Business Insider’s Ignition 2013, Smarty Pants’s Stephanie Retblatt asked 9 New York City teens aged 14 to 17 about their digital lives and habits.

Here are the 5 key teen take-aways that have marketing implications.

 

1. Teens love to communicate with their BFFs constantly. While the communication among teens is constant, it’s not necessarily voice. One student created videos and sent them to her friend because you don’t always have WiFi. They also use SnapChat for one-to-one communication. None of the students mentioned using their smartphones to make phone calls to talk to their friends in real time.

Actionable Marketing Implications:

  • Make it easy for teens to contact you when they’re ready to purchase or use your product or service.
  • Support communications teens favor. Help them to share photos of your products with their friends.
  • Supply WiFi to remove communications barriers in your place of business.

 

2. My smartphone is always there for me. With one exception, the students used either an iPhone or an Android smartphone. It was their personal device that they couldn’t live without. (Here are 67 Mobile Facts to provide context.)

In addition to being a video-gaming device, about half of the students used their smartphones to do homework, especially since they could do it on the subway on the way to school. Two of the options for writing a school paper on a smartphone were dictate it to Siri and send via email to the teacher or get an app called MS Word.

Actionable Marketing Implications:

  • Offer utilities teens find useful whether it’s connecting with friends, writing a paper or playing a game.

 

3. Who needs cable? Not teens. In the words of one student, “I think cable is a complete waste of money.” The students tended to watch OnDemand or NetFlix. A few used a DVR to record shows and view them the next day.

They confided that commercials are a complete waste of time and they didn’t have enough time to sit through them. But they have time to binge watch special shows such as “Breaking Bad.”

Additionally, the teens spent time on YouTube and Vine as television alternatives. They talked about sitting down to view a couple of videos and spending a couple of hours, often starting from the recommendation page.

Actionable Marketing Implications:

  • Rethink the ad as a push message, regardless of platform. This means finding another way to integrate your message without interrupting or keeping viewers from the information they want.
  • Provide quality content. The students mentioned shows with a strong story arc, good acting and quality production. Related to this, Steele Smith of VICE Media made the point that teens are interested in the news but just not the way cable news is delivered.

 

4. It’s my social media—Adults keep out. Facebook faces challenges maintaining engagement with younger demographics. Further, the students only use Facebook on a PC, even though their smartphone is their favorite device.

While it was cool to gain access to Facebook when they were younger, it’s not now, especially when your mom friends you and she has twice as many friends as you do. Also, Facebook is just a habit now. (For more, see Is Facebook Still Cool and Why Marketers Should Care.)

Even worse for one particular student, her mother posted a photo of her when she was small with a no longer appropriate nickname resulting in ridicule at school the next day.

The students felt that while looking at people’s streams is boring and full of stupid things, Facebook can be good for group emails to their school teams and other features.

The students preferred other social media platforms that their parents didn’t know about such as Instagram, Vine and Snapchat. No surprise, these platforms are visual and mobile based.

Teens are looking for the new new thing. Particularly if their parents don’t know that they’re spending time there. For teens social media tends to be a communication tool where they can express themselves, often one-to-one.

Actionable Marketing Implications:

  • Leverage the power of social media to observe what teens are doing and thinking by engaging with them. Don’t use social media as a way to promote to teens.

 

5. The future of Christmas: Today’s letter to Santa.

One student announced that she created her Christmas list for her mother, complete with images and store details. This means mom, you have no excuse for getting me the wrong stuff this year.

Students also used store functionality to alert their parents that they wanted a specific product. One student mentioned FreshDirect. Another student was her family’s go-to person to find products they wanted via her Amazon and eBay apps.

Actionable Marketing Implications:

  • Make it easy for teen shoppers to get their parents the necessary details for the products they want. Offer email options and shopping/wish lists.

 

While teens may do the things that teens have always done, they’re using connected devices and finding new ways to use them.

What other insights have you discovered about teens and what implications does it have for your marketing?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Social Media Marketing World is Social Media Examiner's mega conference in San Diego, California at the waterfront Manchester Grand Hyatt. It includes a networking party on a naval aircraft carrier and much more!

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