Think that a bunch of younger people can’t change things in this country? Think again.
The millennial generation is often subject to dismissiveness, if not outright ridicule, from older generations and institutions. Their opinions and importance is undervalued or viewed as the bizarre minority. But businesses that ascribe to these notions are making a potentially deadly mistake. If your business is not making efforts to reach out to the Millennial generation, you run the risk of crashing and burning.
A recent article on Techcrunch explored how the Millennials are collectively responsible for making banks re-evaluate how they conduct their business. As the younger generation, they are traditionally the ones who should be buying houses, cars, and setting up retirement funds. But Millennials are strapped with student debt and are struggling to survive in one of the worst job markets in recent history. This means that most of the things offered by banks are irrelevant.
The banks and the retail industry aren’t catering to these new circumstances and because of it they’re beginning to bleed.
If Millennials are able to affect titans of industry like finance and retail, any small business that doesn’t engage with them is toast. As a business it’s imperative that you understand as much about the millennial generation as possible if you want to survive going forward.
Here are a few important facts about the Millennial generation taken from our new E-Book, “Digital Marketing to Millennials.”
A Millennial is anyone who was born between the year 1981 and 2000, which would make them 22 to 34 years old today. They make up about 27% of the U.S. population and are the most racially diverse thus far. 43% of Millennials are non-white and 2.6% identify as multiracial.
They are well educated and err on the side of intellectual, with 30% percent of them attending or having attended graduate school. This value of outward and inward awareness has made them generally unattached to either organized politics or religion, while still forming passionate opinions about political and social issues. 50% of Millennials describe themselves as political independents.
Another institution they have shied away from is Marriage. Only 26% of millennials are married, compared to the 36% of Generation X and 48% of the Baby Boomers that were married at a comparable age. This may be due to lacking a firm financial foundation, as they are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession and many are saddled with crushing student debts ($27,000 on average). The lessons of past generations, whose personal dreams were sacrificed in order to support their families, have stuck.
A meaningful trend about the Millennial generation is that they harbor a great deal of mistrust of society. Only 19% of Millennials believe that most people can be trusted. One explanation for this is the racial diversity of the generation. The stories from communities that suffer alienation and prejudice have been incorporated into the Millennial world view, shattering any Norman Rockwell visions of their surroundings. Another reason for this may be the globalization of communication and the social transparency that technology and social media puts into the hands of every citizen. There is less of a filter to how they consume current events.
Despite all of the cynicism about their fellow man, 49% of Millennials believe the countries best years are ahead of it. The rally cry of ‘Yes we can’ might be heard echoing on the edge of this statistic, but whether this is a sign of their youth or their ability to effect change still remains to be seen.
For more information on how to reach Millennials, including where they are online and how to create your Millennial Digital Marketing Plan, download our E-book “Digital Marketing to Millennials” today!