By 2014, Millennials will make up 36 percent of the country’s workforce. Currently, the demographic is on pace to reach 80 million this year.
Figuring out just what this voluminous generation wants is the Rosetta Stone of 21st Century marketers, and some early findings are starting to point the way. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), along with Barkley and Service Management Group, recently surveyed 4,000 Millennials to try to understand what makes them tick when it comes to their consumer behaviors.
The survey found that the generation is obsessed with instant gratification. In fact, they shop for groceries at convenience stores twice as often as non-Millennials. For apartment firms, this means that customer service models need to reflect the speed, ease, and efficiency the group has come to demand.
And this is a generation actively engaged in consuming, and influencing. Millennials are far more engaged in online activities, like rating products and services, than non-Millennials (60 percent, versus 46 percent). And about 60 percent of them regularly upload videos, images, and blog entries to the Web, versus 29 percent of non-Millennials.
So it comes as little surprise that Millennials are social-media crazy. Members of the generation are much more likely to favor brands that have Facebook pages and mobile websites: 33 percent of them said so, versus 17 percent of non-Millennials. The survey found that nearly twice as many Millennials have smartphones than older folks (59 percent versus 33 percent).
In fact, 53 percent said that they use social media when exploring a new brand—and are thus highly susceptible to digital word-of-mouth. “While the right brand advocates can be very influential with Millennials, the wrong ones can be detrimental,” warns the report.
This is a generatation that consumes media very differently than their parents: Just 26 percent of them say they watch TV more than 20 hours a week, versus about 50 percent of non-Millennials. And they'll watch TV, more often than not, on their computers (42 percent, versus 18 percent of non-Millennials).
According to another study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in March, members of the Millennial generation have a stronger sense and desire for community than the generations that came before them. So brand managers would be well served to put resources behind building a strong branding campaign and sense of community if they want to catch the eye of today’s millennial renter.