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5 Ways Millennials are Influencing Marketing

For many modern-day marketers, the millennial generation is perceived as rather enigmatic, leaving many organisations uncertain as to how to target them when it comes to marketing and advertising. Due to the fact that millennials grew up during a unique technological and cultural time, where rapid advancements were taking place, they don’t tend to respond to marketing techniques and methods that other generations do.

This is even more evident when you compare how much research was performed in order to understand millennial consumers compared to baby boomers, for example. From performing a simple Google search, you can find over a million more search engine results for marketing ‘millennial consumers’, as opposed to ‘baby boomer consumers’.

However, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) continue to struggle to market the millennial generation with success as they are looking for fundamentally different things from brands they engage with compared to their parents’ generation. According to UK-wide statistics, in 2021 there were approximately 14.4 million millennials in the UK. which made it the largest generational cohort.

It comes as no surprise then that businesses who don’t attempt to target millennial consumers would suffer. This is why organisations and CMOs should actively seek millennials for their workforce: no one understands millennials and their expectations more than the people who belong in that generation. 

That said, here are a few ways in which Millennial marketers are influencing marketing.

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1) They’re all about being digital

Having been brought up in the digital age and at a point in time where most technological advancements took place, it’s only natural for millennials to think in a digital-first kind of way when it comes to marketing. According to a report about millennial marketers’ budgets for digital media, millennial marketers tend to spend more than half of their overall marketing budget (58%) on digital media, whereas baby boomers only spend 14% of their marketing  budget on digital media. 

More often than not, older CMOs and business owners view digital marketing as an add-on to traditional media like print ads and brochures. As a result, essential tactics and platforms targeting millennial consumers and Gen Z, who make up the majority of the current population, are being left behind. 

However, the numbers speak for themselves, as 50% more interactions with customers are being generated through digital marketing versus traditional, a study found. That is attributed to the fact that digital marketing is more targeted and personalised than its traditional alternative. 

Therefore, millennial marketers understand which marketing methods have the most ROI (return on investment) and which they should capitalise on when it comes to allocating their marketing budget. Long gone are the days when companies would spend outrageous amounts of money for television adverts and print billboards. They now understand that digital media are a much more cost-effective way to generate leads. That is also supported through research conducted by Gitnux, which found that digital marketing generates an average of 9.9% increase in lead-to-close rates, compared to the 1.7% of traditional marketing. 

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2) They understand the new mobile-focused market 

Millennials grew up at around the time the internet first came into existence and have also been around to witness what it has evolved to today. Essentially, they had to adjust their technological habits all their lives, it’s just what they’re used to. Whether it was transitioning from dial-up to broadband to floppy disks to cloud storage, or desktop computers to smartphones, millennials have experienced huge technological advancements throughout their whole lives. 

More notably, they’re used to adapting their technological habits to suit what is most convenient and accessible for them, which is why they became exceptionally proficient with smartphones, the ultimate device for convenience, so quickly. 

Smartphones have now become an essential part of our lives, and with millennials being the generation to have witnessed their benefits first hand, they understand the need for the market to be more mobile-focused, in comparison to their predecessors. This is confounded by a 2023 study by SlickText that found that 42% of millennials have not gone more than 5 hours without looking on social media, while younger millennials tend to check their phones around 150 times a day, as opposed to the average of 58.  

Bearing in mind that smartphones allow instant access to a plethora of information and content at all times, it’s not surprising that they’ve become so dependent on having information available at their fingertips, something millennial marketers understand the importance of. 

Catering for a market that spends most of their time on their phone is a big shift for marketing professionals, since it requires them to develop mobile-friendly content and website navigation to attract and maintain consumers to their brand. In fact, research shows that around 62% of millennials use their phones more often when searching the internet, so without mobile friendly websites businesses risk losing a huge portion of their market. 

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3) They realise the significance of purpose-driven brands 

The world of business and commerce as we know it is changing forever. Brands 15-20 years ago attributed their popularity and success to the quality of their products and services, however, with increased social awareness amongst the millennial consumer market, companies must now rethink how they brand themselves, manufacture their products and engage with their customers. 

Growing up with social media and increased transparency, millennials now tend to seek authenticity behind everything they consume. According to 5WPR’s 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 62% of Millennial consumers stated that they favour products that reflect their own social and political beliefs, while 65% claimed to have purposely boycotted a brand that took the opposing stance from theirs.  

But that’s not all. They don't just look for brands that support a cause, they’re looking for brands that have the audacity to proudly show what they support, bringing value and meaning to the term ‘Cause Marketing’. They’re no longer impressed by flashy ads, big promises and expensive campaigns. They want to connect with brands on a more personal level. 

Therefore, by bringing millennial marketers onboard, CMO’s can help attract and retain significant market share, as they’re the best ones to understand their generation’s expectation, ultimately helping create authentic brands with a purpose, And who better to identify and communicate that purpose than the people who support it.

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4) They’re confident with video 

In previous generations, video advertising often conjured up expensive television ads, but for millennials it’s something they’ve become confident with quite early on in their lives. As they were growing up around the time when video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo began gaining traction and popularity, they’re pretty much experts in using this strategy. 

Unlike the extensive effort, time and money needed to create TV ads, online video advertising can be done with significantly less costs and time, with everything being recorded and edited with nothing but a smartphone. A survey found that 76% of millennials actively follow brands on platforms such as YouTube, proving that they value and search for branded videos as a way to engage with companies, while 60% expressed that they prefer to watch a company video than read their newsletter. 

It really isn’t news at this point that the current consumer market displays significantly lower attention span than previous generations, so by consistently providing them with short-video content, they’re much more focused when being exposed to company information. 

That’s why platforms such as TikTok and features like Instagram Reels are currently amongst the most popular digital marketing strategies used by marketers around the world. They’re a quick, easy and inexpensive way to create video advertising, moving away from fancy, over-the-top TV ads. As a result, they’re able to construct a personality behind the brand while also allowing consumers to feel more connected to it. 

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5) They prioritise e-commerce presence 

Millennial marketers are entering the workforce already having extensive knowledge of digital tools. From knowing how to shoot and edit a video, blog and maintain social media accounts, to building user-friendly and visually-appealing websites, millennial marketers currently possess skill sets once only found in specialist roles from baby boomers and Gen X. For CMOs that’s a hugely beneficial aspect, as they can hire a single individual to perform numerous different marketing tasks due to millennial proficiency with digital tools, while saving on extra training costs. 

For instance, 4-in-5 (80%) millennials do most of their shopping online, while 56% of them are primarily doing their shopping through their mobile device, according to CouponFollow’s Millennial Shopping Habits: Trend Report 2022. Thus, it’s clear that millennial marketers understand the importance of e-commerce for brands, as well as recognising the need for mobile-friendly sites for quick and actionable purchases. 

Not only that, but they’re also aware that personalisation and customisation needs to be implemented in these new e-commerce platforms through embedding features such as product recommendations based on search history, automatic storage of payment information and product wish lists. This enables them to create e-commerce websites consumers want to engage with and use due to their simplicity and convenience. 


With millennials now slowly taking over the majority of the workforce, and having lived through an era with endless technological advancements, it’s expected that their influence will reshape the way we work, especially in the marketing industry. From having developed digital skills that are now second nature to them, to understanding the changing market attitudes and expectations, millennials are changing the game as we know it. 


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