The question in the headline was a recent topic at RetailWire. The issue is that “millennials” are driven more by word-of-mouth than by traditional advertising media. Conventional ways of shaping opinions (and affecting consumer behavior) may not work for marketers and retailers as this segment of the population grows in importance. Here’s my comment:
It’s become a cliche to describe Millennials as “tribal,” but there is some truth to it based on their consumer behavior patterns. The most obvious sign that word-of-mouth matters is the importance of social networking and review sites as tools to spread opinions to a broad audience. Some marketers have clearly done a better job than others — either using Facebook and Twitter as “new media” ad tools, or exploiting customer reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.