Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Millennial Generation Is Changing the Face of Consumer Marketing

Study by BCG Shows That Millennials, Who Account for $1.3 Trillion in Direct Annual Spending, Engage More Extensively With Brands Than Do Older Consumers and Expect a Two-Way Marketing Relationship

DALLAS, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 01/15/14 -- The Millennial generation not only represents the consumer market of the future. It is also transforming the way in which companies must market their products both online and offline in order to be successful, according to a report released today by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The report, titled The Reciprocity Principle: How Millennials Are Changing the Face of Marketing Forever, says that U.S. Millennials -- the generation of people now 18 to 34 years old -- engage with brands far more extensively and personally than do older generations, and they expect their values to be reflected in the brands they purchase. Because Millennials are heavy users of social media and mobile devices, the impact of their brand choices and feedback is greatly amplified and accelerated. BCG's global research suggests that the findings about U.S. Millennials and their impact on marketing reflect similar trends among Millennials in other developed countries.

"The conventional linear and rational approach to marketing has been a process in which companies defined their brands and pushed brand and marketing messages at consumers. But this doesn't work well with Millennials," said Christine Barton, a BCG partner and the lead author of the report. "Millennials want and expect a two-way, reciprocal relationship with companies and their brands. As a result, modern marketing has become an ecosystem driven by interactions among marketers, customers, and potential customers, who help define brands and influence their success."

The report is based on findings from surveys in 2013 conducted by BCG's Center for Consumer and Customer Insight involving nearly 4,000 U.S. Millennials and non-Millennials. The surveys covered behavior, values, brand engagement, marketing tactics, and other topics. U.S. Millennials already account for an estimated $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending, of which at least $430 billion is estimated to be discretionary, nonessential spending. These estimates do not include substantial Millennial-influenced spending, such as by parents and grandparents. And this sum will grow dramatically as more Millennials reach peak earning and buying power. By 2030, the projected 78 million Millennials in the U.S. will outnumber the projected 56 million baby boomers (ages 50 to 69).

Millennials are driving a transformation of consumer marketing across five elements: reach, relevance, reputation, relation, and referral. Several findings from the BCG surveys illustrate these points:

  • Reach. Millennials engage much more extensively with brands through social media and mobile devices than do older generations. Fifty-two percent of Millennials surveyed said they use social media to "like" a brand -- compared with 33 percent of boomers surveyed -- while 39 percent post product reviews. Twice as many Millennials as boomers check prices, look up product information, or search for promotions on their mobile devices while in a store.
  • Relevance. The purchasing decisions of U.S. Millennials are influenced by more people -- and different types of people -- than are the choices of older generations. Less than half of Millennials said that they trust expert advisors such as doctors or financial advisors, for example, compared with 61 percent of non-Millennials. Instead, Millennials reported that they are most influenced by family, friends, and strangers. Millennials were also twice as likely as Gen-Xers (ages 35 to 49) to say that they were influenced by celebrities and four times more likely than boomers.
  • Reputation. Millennials identify with brands more personally. Fifty percent of U.S. Millennials ages 18 to 24 and 38 percent of those ages 25 to 34 agreed that brands "say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in." Forty-eight percent of young Millennials reported that they "try to use brands of companies that are active in supporting social causes."
  • Relation. To cultivate a relationship with Millennials and sustain brand loyalty, companies must establish a dialogue with them individually and in small groups. Nearly twice as many Millennials as boomers cited "availability 24-7" as the most important thing that brands can do to engage them.
  • Referral. Engaging with Millennials is also important because they are more eager than other generations to share their opinions with friends and on social networks. More than half of U.S. Millennials said that they are willing to share their brand preferences on social media, for example, compared with 31 percent of baby boomers. More than half also said that people seek them out for their knowledge and opinions of brands, compared with only 35 percent of boomers.

The report advises companies to make marketing to Millennials a strategic priority and master reciprocal marketing. "This is important not only because Millennials represent the market of the future over the medium term in developed economies," said Barton, who is global leader of BCG's consumer sentiment and generational research topics. "It is also critical because Millennials are the vanguard of large-scale changes in marketing behavior and media habits among older consumers and future consumers."

The report suggests several actions companies should take if they haven't done so already. First, they should set clear, measurable goals for marketing to Millennials. Companies must also transform their organizations by breaking down silos that separate different marketing and media functions, building the new capabilities required to compete in a reciprocal ecosystem, and devoting greater investment to more innovative media and tools that can measure short- and long-term returns from marketing.

"The imperative to engage and win over the Millennial generation represents an entirely new set of challenges and tactics for marketers in developed economies," said Lara Koslow, a BCG partner who is global coleader of the firm's marketing topic area. "This generation is ushering in the end of consumer marketing as companies have long known it."

The report advises that companies reach out to Millennials wherever they are with a cross-media, cross-channel, cross-device brand presence. Brands should reinforce their authentic reputations and brand soul with the relevant values, personality traits, and communications. They should relate to Millennials by moving from push communications to two-way, open dialogue. And they should cultivate referrals among Millennial customers and employees.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Alexandra Corriveau at +1 212 446 3261 or [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Boston Consulting Group
Alexandra Corriveau
Media Relations Manager

Tel +1 212 446 3261
Fax + 1 212 446 2801
[email protected]

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
"Storpool does only block-level storage so we do one thing extremely well. The growth in data is what drives the move to software-defined technologies in general and software-defined storage," explained Boyan Ivanov, CEO and co-founder at StorPool, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
ChatOps is an emerging topic that has led to the wide availability of integrations between group chat and various other tools/platforms. Currently, HipChat is an extremely powerful collaboration platform due to the various ChatOps integrations that are available. However, DevOps automation can involve orchestration and complex workflows. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Himanshu Chhetri, CTO at Addteq, will cover practical examples and use cases such as self-provisioning infra...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.