As millennials join the workforce, marketing outlets are adapting to this contemporary culture to market to this new generation.
According to University of Connecticut marketing professor Kevin McEvoy, the millennial generation, which is the largest generation in U.S. history, containing about 75 million members, is molded by technology.
McEvoy said depending on what study is being referred to, the age range for millennials is most commonly 18 to 34 years old.
“When we try to understand a group, we look at what makes groups discrete,” McEvoy said.
To appeal to this demographic, marketers present ads on various electronic platforms such as the internet and television, McEvoy said. This need for electronic marketing has required him to change his curriculum.
“I have to teach [marketing] from a whole different angle. It’s more than media, it’s a change in mindset,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy said the millennials’ change in mindset include shorter attention spans, a negative outlook on direct and forceful advertising, known as the ‘hard sell,’ and the fact they would take advice from a stranger over that of a firm.
“I’m most likely to buy something if someone famous sponsors it,” first-semester marketing major Elizabeth Kindt said. “Celebrity endorsement through social media is the best way to reach me.”
Fifth-semester marketing major Sarah Ward said she remembered when her Instagram feed was flooded with promotional posts of Love Your Melons hats, a clothing line that focuses on providing hats for all children battling cancer. Ward said that from strangers to celebs, it seemed that all over the web, people were sporting one.
“I think it was mainly about seeing other people wearing it that made me want one,” Ward said. “And it was for a good cause.”
McEvoy said millennials adhere to popular opinion and to those they share experiences with.
“They like soft selling and relationships,” McEvoy said. “They have a ‘we are all in this together’ mentality and value collaboration.”
It may be easy to lose millennials attention, McEvoy said, even with the use of endorsements. For this reason, the National Football League is testing out six-second commercials, less than a quarter of the current time span.
“[Millennials] can’t pay attention longer than that,” McEvoy said. “You don’t have a lot of patience.”
Kindt said six-second commercials would be beneficial to reaching her demographic.
“I know I tune out ads after the first few seconds,” Kindt said. “And it’s the best way for marketers to save money and appeals to kids with short attention spans.”
Lillian Whittaker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.