Marketers Meet The Millennials

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A couple of weeks back I saw a segment on 60 Minutes entitled, The Millennials Are Coming! (now available online). This is the new Generation Y (or Gen X). It’s people born between 1980 – 1995 (currently aged 12 – 27) and as they enter the workforce, their demands are quite different from the "business as usual" attitude most organizations have held so near and dear.

The implications on Marketing are being felt already as this age group leads the way in online social networks, mobile connectivity, Blogging, Podcasting, the gaming industry, music, and more.

So, who are these people? The 60 Minutes segment does have a certain, "kids these days" vibe. It’s all about how wired and connected they are while they don’t understand basic dining etiquette, but forgoing the tele-journalist spin they spun, they are some key messages that act like indicators into where we are now with Digital Marketing.

The key learning from this segment (and I do recommend that everyone checks out the ten minute piece) is the WRAM issue (World Revolves Around Me). The Millennials are connected, educated and passionate. They care about their own self-actualization and are not driven by money, status or benefits. They expect companies to provide them with the latest access to technology. The expect to be working in a participatory culture and mass collaborating with their peers. They seem driven by their own desires and passions… and the general message of not trusting anyone over thirty still prevails.

At least some things do stay the same.

You can view the clip here: 60 Minutes – The Millennials Are Coming!

There’s also a great article on this segment over here: USA Today – The ‘Millennials’ Come Of Age.


  1. Eerie how much that last paragraph reminds me of me… and why I’ve made some of the decisions that I recently did.
    It also reminds me of Dov Charney’s philosophy of youth culture, and practicing what he preaches is what has made American Apparel the presence that it now is.
    I hope your readers are paying attention, because I really don’t think that this is just buzz or spin. Just look at Google’s 20% rule: how else can you compete in a marketplace where industries leaders work that way?

  2. I agree.
    This attitude does pose challenges for the old guard. The one part of the segment that made me chuckle was how they have consultants teaching the non-Millennials how to act around them and engage them… as if this was some kind of safari.

  3. That 60 minutes episode really got under my skin for exactly that “kids these days” attitude you reference. It drives me crazy that media who are claim to be objective shellac over the point of a story with reactionary bias – I read blogs for that kind of coverage 😉
    While you will get no argument from me that the way the millennials internalize the web and connectivity is a sea change, I will argue that the WRAM is anything new.
    The hippy culture was idealistic, affluent (for its time), and certainly idealistic. As they aged many became the self-absorbed, conspicuous consuming Yuppies.
    Perhaps the millennials will do a 180 in their 30s and become neo-luddites or something.

  4. If Boomers are to represent the 60’s then they were more than the popular view of “idealistic hippies”. They were about a social change. Change that raised the collective consciousness of racism, war, politics, student rights, poverty and feminism. And for this lot were jailed and a few died.
    As a card carrying member of this generation I’m often reminded of how over time I’m starting to behave like my parents (perish the thought).
    Boomers have become powerful, rich and self-involved. The Millennials are merely a reflection of their parents.
    What struck me about the 60 Minutes piece (in spite of my immediate reaction like Arnold’s in Kindergarden Cop “you lack discipline”) was that all generations were once idealistic.
    The Milllennials idealism is just different than past generations. Maybe as they age, they to, heaven forbid, may begin to act more like their parents .

  5. Wow. I feel great. I feel proud to belong to this generation. 🙂 It’s just as the segment described it. We are much more in tuned with our personal issues. I don’t see this as a negative thing. However, it makes me wonder if we’ll still possess the same outlook after ten or twenty years… Isn’t it possible that we could end up having the same views as those from the more experienced generation?

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