Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why you should focus less on Millennials

+Millennials (aka Gen Y) are the only generation to be talked about so much by ad folk. There weren't long articles about reaching the Gen X generation or Baby Boomers. What is the industry obsession with this audience? Why focus so much on this one group?

Let's look a bit at what defines a Millennial. Pew Research defines someone born in 1981. Wikipedia states that there are "no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s." In May 2013, a Time magazine cover story identified Millennials as those born from 1980 or 1981 to 2000". And, a global generational study conducted by PwC (a network of member accounting firms) with the University of Southern California and the London Business School defined Millennials as those born between 1980 and 1995.

So, they range in age approximately from 18-33 years old. That's a big difference in life stages. Entering college vs. starting a family. Dating vs. settling down. Figuring out your life vs. growing your career. And when you look at how they're talked about, it seems many still focus in on that lower end, those in their early 20s...perhaps forgetting that the middle range is now mid 20s heading toward 30.

And this, to me, is why focusing on the psychographics is much more successful in terms of nailing down who you are talking to. I don't care if you're in college or retired. We are more defined by our passions and our activism, than our age. Sure, age adds color to what you know or don't based on experiences, but those who weren't tech savvy are catching up with those who are natives to the technological world. And at some point soon, that will be a moot point because every one will be digital natives.

I found this How Millennial Are You? quiz and I scored 83 out of 100, which means I'm Millennial. Actually I'm not (although only by a couple years), but it's because the questions were based on behavior...yes, psychographics.

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