Morley Winorgrad, author of Millenial Momentum: How a New Generation is Remaking America, spoke to a sold out crowd at the December iMedia Agency Summit. Winograd took a room of agency media execs through the minds and characteristics of the Millenial Generation. The key takeaway for the group was to stop complaining about them and learn how to communicate with them in their environment and with messages that resonate with this audience.
The room full of mostly Gen X’ers chuckled at the the differences between Gen X and Millenials and there’s plenty of differences between the two. As Generation X moves in the C Suite to replace the Boomers it is important to learn how to work with and communicate with folks across generations.
Millenials are ‘digital natives’ and know how to use technology to make their lives better, but unlike Gen X’ers who understand how technology works, they don’t care about how the technology works but how it works for them. The Millenials are not only embracing technology and disrupting how we advertise, they are changing the way we communicate with each other. A shocking 19% of Millienials have never had a cable TV bill, and 37% of them prefer to communicate with images…whatever that means.
Gen X’ers are much more self-reliant than Millenials that were raised as part of a group and do not cherish individual achievement over group achievement.
Millenials are connected to multiple devices, engaged with each other in robust online and offline communities and expect brands to listen to them. This change in how we advertise from a one to many to many to many to one to one is an evolution in the advertising messaging that resonates with the audience we’re targeting.
New social media advertising opportunities is an example of how the Millenial audience is responding to brands reaching them via Snapchat, Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
We heard from three Vine users with over 1 million followers each discuss how they work with brands to build six second videos that fit the Vine platform and drive awareness and brand affinity through leveraging the Vine celebrity’s audience loyalty. Brands that are willing to reach out too these new platforms are seeing how their efforts pay off with brand lift that is measurable.Vine family, Eh Bee, spoke about how brands approach them and their content is family friendly but they retain creative control and decide which brands that are a fit with their brand. Bottlerocket spoke to how he uses Vine to connect with his students and how he cultivates an audience. Ginger Wesson uses Vine to reach a short attention span audience and told the audience she couldn’t imagine having to fill fifteen or thirty seconds for video. A hearty laugh erupted as we thought about creatives that can’t seem to get it that we need 15’s and 30’s for pre-roll and not 60’s!
Ultimately, it’s time for us to stop complaining about Millenials and learn how to communicate with them in a way that speaks to their risk averse, high self esteem, and changing work ethic so we may embrace some changes in the agency model.