We have all seen it. The topic has been hot the last few weeks, with hundreds of people posting articles on Facebook about it. Millennials are killing… EVERYTHING! From Restaurant chains to department stores to cable television and even to beer. There are many reasons why this is the case. Research shows Millennials are less likely to spend their hard earn cash on tangible things, instead opting for more experiential purchases. They tend to prioritize activities more than past generations. Regardless of their preferences, they are making advertisers and marketers jobs that much more difficult. So how can advertisers and marketers successfully target this technology heavy generation. The answer lies in technology.

More and more advertisers have to abandon traditional marketing strategies in order to effectively reach Millennials and convince them to spend their money. One way they can ensure this is to make digital a priority in their plans. Not only digital, but also more importantly, mobile. More than 77% of Millennials own a smartphone, spending an average of 3.2 hours a day on their mobile devices. They do everything from book trips to online shop. Advertisers are often finding it is extremely important to make an online environment fast and user friendly. They often only have one shot at a first impression. If that impression is less than glamorous, they can consider themselves out of the consideration pool.

Digital media data has also proven to be extremely important. Millennials spend, on average, 5 hours and 50 min with digital media per day. They are spending 33 minutes alone on social media, and they are doing so, for the most part, on their mobile device. With all that time spent on social platforms by millennials, it would be foolish for an advertiser not engage millennials here if they are a target that is important to them.


Even research has to be collected through different mediums. Focus groups are a thing of the past as are most surveys. Back in 2012, a study put together by Scarborough broken down the millennial audience and their digital media consumption, dissecting it in multiple ways from mobile usage to audio consumption to social media habits. An important take away from this study is that millennials expect things to come to them. They do not go searching for the news. They expect the news to find them. The same could be said about advertisements. They will not go looking for the best brands. However, they do engage with brands that they find interesting. The take away from this for advertisers: make sure your creative is interesting and gives millennials a reason to interact.


Many Millennials would argue that the times simply have changed. Goodbye to the days of landing a decent paying job without a college degree and buying your first house at 21. Hello to mountains of college debt and renting well into your 30’s. Many Millennials are also waiting much later in life to even marry and start families, which explains why activities and experiences take precedence in a Millennial’s life. In the end, marketers and advertisers will have to play by the rules of Millennials if they hope to engage them.