Figuring out How Y’s are Wired – Marketing to Generation Y

Gen YIt’s a good thing that Y’s can multi-task because they’ve got a lot on their shoulders in bearing the brunt of future productivity, taxation, and spinning up the creativity to fuel the world’s economic engine. So, just who are they? Y’s and Millennials, used interchangeably, were born after 1980 and many are now pushing 30. They were practically born into group behavior and the new era of social responsibility and wired lifestyle. So, multi-tasking and social networking have always been part of the package. This is the largest population group, so millennials are the up and coming market for everyone’s product – – if they have the money. Let’s talk about the money later. First of all, getting a handle on this group means understanding technology and how technology is integrated into our lives our psyche and how we use and store information. When we talk about “multi-tasking” this is not just a mechanical function like sending a text, downloading music, and holding a conversation. There are real behavioral patterns in giving the brain data to store, utilize, and retrieve. Case in point: Have you ever been writing an email or a text and looked back to realize you misspelled a word that you know very well? How we use, store, retrieve, collect, ingest, and make decisions about information is constantly being retrofitted by technology. Viral marketing truly is viral as conversations in the virtual world are done on Facebook via iPhone or Droid. No wonder companies are paying for people’s “friends” on Facebook. Collecting friends has never been so profitable. It’s pretty obvious if you’re a facebook junkie. You know what that say about six degrees of separation. The whole marketing thing gets very real when you click on your friends, your friends’ friends, and realize what social networking can really mean. Of course there are social networks for everything now. Everyone’s gossiping and sharing great info online. Some are even living in their “virtual farm houses” planting crops, and having a second job as a farmer. Yes, there is also money to be made in the virtual world if you’ve got the time. Have a great wine or a beer? Your avatar Penelope better be sharing it with others in the “virtual wine room” while it catches a buzz roller coaster on Facebook and Twitter.

While some of these tech waves will come and go, the monumental change in reaching out to Generation Y will be with us for some time as we recognize that how we reach these millennials is very different than past generations. Mobile marketing is going to grow, and the transaction times in between are going to get shorter and shorter. Why mobile marketing? Because the move to more featureful, smart phones is already eating away at the notebook PC market. The mobile smart phone continues to be the device of choice. For marketers, there are number of challenges here. Keeping the attention of a multi-tasker is challenging. Next, you’ve got to hold their attention long enough to make it through the “your credit card has been processed successfully” message.

got to hold their attention long enough to make it through the “your credit card has been processed successfully” message.

Wining and Dining with the Y’s – Refined Tastes on Beer Budgets

Ok. Now for the discussion of Gen Y’s cash problem. We know you don’t want to hear this, but we have a real marketing problem. The Y’s may not have all that much money and probably have even less opportunity than the generations that preceded them. Millennials love technology and studied art, business, and communications. The double whammy may be that this is the generation that is going to get hit the hardest by a sluggish economy and heavier tax burden. As if that’s not enough, this cohort is off the mark in aligning education with economic demand. So the dwindling ranks of doctors, scientists, and engineers will continue to become even more economically devastated. The Y’s are starting to favor smaller but smarter houses, more affordable wines, and sensible cars. Older Y’s might look more like their grandparents than their parents when it comes to spending. While frugality may not be ingrained, it will be an essential byproduct of the circumstances. TD

Copyright Trends Digest 2013 All Rights Reserved

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