New marketing templates for Gen Y consumers

As the size and consuming power of Millennials grow, so do the words of wisdom from a lot of “experts,” including BrainTrust panelists on RetailWire. Here’s a recent example that I posted, realizing that generalizing is always risky:

Of course, anybody who comments about marketing to Millennials (including me) will be guilty of punditry, too! But there are two key issues that jump out:

1. First, Gen Y consumes news and entertainment in tech-enabled formats that make “old media” a tougher sell for marketers and media planners. Instead of drive-time radio, they listen to Pandora or XM during drive time. (Assuming they actually live in the suburbs and drive to work, which is not a safe assumption.) Instead of watching TV on the networks’ schedules, they fast-forward through ads while binge-watching series on Netflix. And the drop in print newspaper circulation is an irreversible trend, with a big impact on the power of circular advertising.

2. Second, there has been a lot of comment about Millennials being more “tribal” than their Baby Boomer parents. This affects not only location strategies (the “new urbanism”) but especially the impact of word-of-mouth advertising. Social networking has become the tech-enabled “back fence” where virtual neighbors can share opinions and recommendations about all sorts of goods and services.

Both of these issues point to the growing empowerment of the consumer. Again, this is a trend that will onlly gain strength with time, and which any marketer or retailer needs to manage more effectively.

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