Posts Tagged ‘Millennials’



June 5, 2020

THIS WEEK – Here are some marketing tips and research thoughts for a post COVID-19 World. As always, contact me if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover.


People are increasingly using TV sets to watch YouTube. Most smart TV’s offer this option. Now, YouTube wants you (advertisers) to spend more money to reach these people. They want a bigger piece of the traditional TV and streaming ad budget. But it’s not going to be easy according to a story by Wall St. Journal’s Sahil Patel (CMO Today). “Their soul is social media with user-generated video online… becoming a TV platform requires a lot of field work in curating the content and really defining the audiences you’re curating this content for.” Stay tuned.


If you market to families, listen up. As the oldest Millennials turn 39 this year, they are taking a different path in forming – or not forming – families of their own. According Pew Research, they are less likely to be married, have children, and live in a family, compared to previous generations at the same stage in life. Those who do get married or have children are doing so later in life. Here’s some other family facts from Pew:

Only 44% of Millennials are married, compared with 53% of Gen Xers, 61% of Boomers and 81% of Silents at a comparable age.

Overall, marriage rates have declined since 1970, and the sharpest declines have been amongst the least educated adults.

Intermarriage rates are higher for Millennials than any other generation across all racial and ethnic groups. The rate of intermarriage among black Millennials is nearly twice as high as that of black Gen Xers at a comparable age (18% vs. 10%).


One of the research themes I share often: research is a snapshot in time. So, in light of this week’s Black Lives Matter protests, it is interesting to note how quickly America’s view of racism is changing.

In two separate polls this week, 57% of Americans said the police were more likely to mistreat black people than white people, far more than ever before on record. In both polls, about half of white Americans said so — a stark jump. In 2016, shortly after the killing of Alton Sterling, just 34% said officers were more likely to use force against a black person, including only 25% of white people, according to a Monmouth University survey. In the poll that Monmouth released this week, three-quarters of all Americans said that racial discrimination was a “big problem” in the United States — 17% points higher than in 2015 — and 78% said the anger that led to the current protests was at least somewhat justified.


President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order aimed at discouraging social media companies from censoring posts. But in a 2018 survey, 56% of Americans said tech companies should take steps to restrict false information online, even if it limits freedom of information.

About seven-in-ten Americans (72%) said in another 2018 survey that it is somewhat or very likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints they find objectionable. In the same survey, 43% said major technology companies support the views of liberals over conservatives, while 11% said they support the views of conservatives over liberals.

Half of U.S. adults believe fact-checking websites are fair. But 48% said they tend to favor one side. Democrats (69%) said they fairly with all sides. Republicans (70%) said they tend to favor one side.

Ok, enjoy getting out of the house… looks like we are making some progress on controlling COVID-19.



August 20, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. OK, it is not Monday morning, but it is still Monday and here are some marketing and research thoughts for this week. Email me ( if you need more info on any subject.

CAN SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGE OPINIONS? – Research shows that most people today believe that social media is a giant echo chamber. People simply spend time with friends that agree with them. For most Americans that is true. But a small share of the public – 14% – say they have changed their views because of something they saw on social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted May 29-June 11, 2018. This number changes significantly when you look at age, gender and race.

Almost a third (29%) of young men 18 to 29 say their views changed in the past year due to social media. This is more than double the percent of men and women ages 30 and older (12% and 11%, respectively). There are also differences by race. One-in-five black (19%) and Hispanic (22%) say their views changed, compared with 11% of whites. Bottom line: This an important study because it reveals what audiences may be willing to change their opinions the most about your product, service or cause. 

TAKE A VACATION, PLEASE – As the travel industry in the West struggles with smoky skies and fires, many Americans are canceling their vacations. To make these time even more tough, a research study from Project: Time Off shows that Americans are taking less time off. About half of American workers (52%) aren’t using all the vacation time they have. A quarter, 24%, have gone a year without a vacation; 12% say it’s been three years or more since they took a holiday.

What’s stopping them from getting away? Job insecurity – 61% say it’s the “fear of looking replaceable,” while 56% insist their “workload is too heavy.” Which generation is better at taking vacations? Millennials are the worst at 14.5 days of vacation. Generation X takes 17.9 and Baby Boomers take 19.8. That is why even aging Baby Boomers remain a key segment to target for leisure marketers. If you want to see the report, email me.

SEARCHING FOR THE BEST? – Some interesting insights from Google’s “Think with Google” email newsletter. Mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% over the past two years. People are searching for “best” for even the smallest item. Google research reveals that looking for “the best” isn’t an objective absolute. Since “best” is personal, it is important that website content and search copy convey how your products meet these needs and that you show relatable, real-life use cases. This is one of several studies you will find in our new white paper “KEYS TO MAKING WEB VISITORS, REAL VISITORS.” This report shares findings from various content studies including our six-year study of Oregon visitor websites. Contact me if you are interested.

THE NEWEST WEALTH GAP – YOUNG AND OLD – You would expect that Americans aged 65 or older would have more resources than younger Americans. But a report published in Demography (Children and the Elderly: Wealth Inequality among America’s Dependents) is troubling if you are marketing to families with children.

Looking at two types of households, one with children under age 18 (child households), and the other with someone 65 or older with no children under 18 (elderly households), there is a growing gap between them. In 1989, elderly households had a median net worth 3.8 time that of child households ($106,647 vs. $27,889). By 2013 elderly households had a worth that was 12.5 times as high ($154,998 vs. $12,413). The median net worth of elderly households grew 45% between 1989 and 2013, after adjusting for inflation, while the net worth of child households fell 56%. That is why you need to do a demographic study of your customers. We can provide this type of study.

TRUE OR FALSE: MOST IMMIGRANTS ARE HERE LEGALLY. True, but only 45% of the public knows that most immigrants in the United States are here legally. Nearly as many (42%) think most immigrants are here illegally. Marketing lesson: If you repeat something long enough, even if it is not true, people will believe it. I guess we should call this the “Trump Effect.”

Until next week, enjoy the last few weeks of summer and have a great day.



May 16, 2014

Final post on marketing to Millennials (age 14 to 33). The report I have been quoting from (published by MediaPost) concludes that TV is still the media leader, but social media is coming on strong.

For kids that spent their youth in front of the TV, and not the Internet or game console, TV is their primary influencer in perceiving brand value. 73% of 26–33 year-olds, compared to 66% of 18–25 year-olds, consider TV to be their biggest influencer when it comes to brand value.

TV and social media are now paving the  way with Millennials: 29% and 26% indicated TV and social, respectively, as the media most likely to introduce them to a new product for trial. Both men and women indicated social and online ads are almost as important as TV.

The biggest difference between men and women is exposure to traditional advertising (TV, radio, magazines). Women are almost 2.5 times more likely than men to use traditional advertising in their brand selection criteria. The criteria for selecting a new brand for trial?

  • Value/price – 62%
  • Recommended by friend – 55%
  • Brand reputation – 47%
  • Quality – 35%
  • Brand exposure through social media – 29%
  • Eco-friendly brands – 28%
  • Recommended by parent – 25%
  • Entertaining ad campaigns – 23%
  • Prestige/social perception – 20%
  • Established brands that instill trust – 20%
  • Brand exposure through traditional advertising – 19%

Now, after all this data and all these posts… here’s the bottom-line:  No matter what media you use to find your audience, two generations are driving consumer spending today, Baby Boomers and Millennials. But all age groups still pick you based on four key attributes: 1) value/price, 2) recommendations by people they know, 3) your company’s reputation, and 4) perceived quality of your product/service (price + quality = value). Keep focused on these and you will be fine.



May 15, 2014

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day last weekend. Continuing my review of the Millennials market (people 14 to 33 years old) few in is group think Mother knows best anymore. Only 1 out of 5 said they use and are brand-loyal to the same brands as their parents. A larger percentage of men than women think Mother knows best: 27% of men, compared to 12% of women. Looking more deeply at survey answers:

  • I’m brand loyal and use the same brands as my parents – 20%
  • I use many of the same brands my parents use, but not all – 43%
  • I use a few of the same brands as my parents – 26%
  • I use different brands than my parents – 11%

The marketing lesson here, you can’t count on continued loyalty. You need to constantly be growing and reaching out to new markets. And you’d better be protecting your reputation.  Outside of financial factors, a business found to have bad business practices is the number one reason that Millennials will switch brands.



April 23, 2014

As Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) move slowly into retirement, they will take with them close to $400 billion in annual spending. So who will replace them? Millennials (born 1981-2000), according to a recent study reported by MediaPost. Millennials are the largest generation by number in American history: 80 million. it is a population larger than Baby Boomers and they outnumbers Gen X (born 1965-1980) almost 3:1.

This tech-savvy and fast-paced crowd, which spends $600 billion a year, is the key to future marketing success for almost every business in America. In just sixteen years (2030), Millennials will outnumber non-Millennials. These consumers are vastly different from the other five living generations:

  • The grew up totally in the digital/online world.
  • They went to college during the largest recession since the Great Depression.
  • Many have degrees and massive college debt.
  • They entered college knowing a bleak job market.
  • They are the most racially and ethnically diverse American generation ever. Over 20% of the population is Hispanic and 13% are African American.

Want to learn more about the millennial market? Stay tuned, I will be covering this critical market in my next few posts.




February 28, 2014

A special post for my travel industry friends. Baby-boomers (people age 50 to 68) still drive much of the travel market. In general they have been hurt less by the recession and still have jobs (they won’t give them up to younger workers because they are putting off retirement in record numbers), so they have more disposable income for travel. But if you focus exclusively on this segment, you will not have a long and successful future. Millennials (18 to 30 year olds) also vacation and they spend more money on business trips. Here are some tidbits from a fascinating research report, “The Future of Travel” released last October by Expedia:

Millennials spend more of their company’s money on high-end meals (42%) than they would their own money compared to those aged 46-65 (26%).

Millennials have more opportunities to order room service than any other age group, because they travel slightly more on business. Worldwide, they travel 4.7 times per year on business, versus 4.2 times per year among 46-65 year-olds.

Millennials take more leisure trips. American and Canadian Millennials travel more frequently than any other age group across any nation. They take 7.8 leisure trips per year. European respondents aged 31-45 take 2.7 leisure trips per year (but their trips are often much longer).

Millennials are more likely to extend a business trip into a personal vacation. Younger Americans and Canadians are more likely to do this (70%), than those aged 31-45 (50%) or 46+ (31%).

Millennials love to complain. They are more likely to post a negative review online about hotels, restaurants, flights, public transportation, taxis, and rental cars. Reviews are considered highly important to Millennials for both business and leisure travel.

Here is a link to the report and more findingsPrint it out and share it at your next marketing staff meeting. Good stuff. 



August 14, 2013

Following up on my two posts discussing the differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials, Nielsen NeuroFocus research concluded their report by describing some characteristics of each group.

Boomers – They prefer clever, light-hearted humor (rather than mean-spirited) and relatable characters who are Boomers themselves or not much younger. The tone should be positive, avoiding words like “don’t.” For Boomer males, clever wit and calm dialogue-driven storylines work. For Boomer females, family friendly humor and sentimental themes resonate best.

Millennials – They prefer off-beat, sarcastic and slapstick humor. Like Boomers, they respond to characters that are relatable to them and their life stage. Highly arresting visuals (special effects, unexpected visual elements) will best capture their attention. For Millennial males, extreme, off-beat and sports-related situations really work. For Millennial females, aspirational themes (female celebs, having fun) are strong.



August 7, 2013

Following up on my July 25th post, let’s look at how Baby Boomers (49- to 67-year-olds) and Millennials (19- to 36-year-olds) react to ad creative, based on Nielsen NeuroFocus research (Source: Nielsen, June 2013). This research shows that changes in the brain come with age, which makes certain types of communication more and less effective.

Let’s look at baby boomers first. Their brains:

• Like repetition, and will believe information that is familiar to be true.

• Are more easily distracted, lose the ability to suppress distraction.

• Have a broader attention span and are open to more information.

• Prefer contrast vs. color for online ads.

Millennials brains:

• Like elements of dynamism – such as rich media, lighting or rotations, to cut through their perception threshold.

• Can equally deal with the bleeding-over communication we see in most dynamic banner ads (boomers have a challenge with this).

• Have high multi-sensory processing ability – they almost seek multi-sensory communications such as search tasks, interactive sites.

• Seem to respond better to an intense color palette for online ads.

More coming on Friday.