Quick! When you hear the word “Millennial,” what words come to mind? How about “entitled”? “Unemployed”? Or maybe “living at home”?
Those are the words the media has been associating with this generation for years. But we were wondering if there’s more to the story – especially when it comes to our nation’s newest and youngest mothers. So we decided to dig a little deeper and find out what’s really going on in the minds of the fascinating and influential segment we call Millennial Moms.
As it turns out, Millennials are hardly one-dimensional. In fact, they’re a study in contrasts. They're underemployed but entrepreneurial. Educated but in debt. They’re fluent in technology and new media – but grounded in concerns for their environment, health, and nutrition. It’s a complicated picture, but here are some concrete ways marketers can put our findings into action.
Reflect her reality
Millennial Moms are 40% less likely to identify as Caucasian than the general population, and more than twice as likely to be viewed as “more tolerant of races and groups different than their own.” Be sure to reflect this diversity in your communications.
It’s also important to remember that while Millennial Moms are financially challenged (carrying an average of $45,000 in college debt), they have an optimistic, can-do attitude. Today’s moms aren’t just saving money, they’re finding creative ways to earn it. We found that compared to Gen X moms, Millennial Moms are 17% more likely to freelance, and that one in five has a blog with a substantial number of followers. Thirty-nine percent of Millennial Moms have used social media to sell items they’ve made (63% higher than Gen X moms), and they are 67% more likely than Gen X moms to get paid for running errands or helping others, using apps like TaskRabbit and GigWalk. So demonstrate that you understand her challenges and support her creative efforts to overcome them.
Show her respect
Millennials represent a large segment with huge spending power: 84 million U.S. adults who spend $1.3 trillion annually.Eighty-four percent of new moms are Millennials, so make sure you acknowledge their importance, act on their input, and demonstrate a real desire to engage in a dialogue.
And don’t forget, Millennial Mom is busy. Since having children, she’s added nine hours of parenting time to her average weekday and lost 13 hours of personal time. Despite these new demands, 88% of Millennial Moms agree that “my life is busy but still fun.” If you want to keep her happy, don’t waste her time. Make every second she spends with your brand count.
Millennials are very aware of disingenuous marketing-speak, and they prefer a conversation over one-way communications. Fifty-eight percent of Millennial Moms say it’s very important for a brand to “understand what matters to me as a parent” (vs. 44% of Gen X moms), and 49% say it’s very important for a brand to share her values (vs. 38%).
For all of these reasons, marketing to Millennials requires a light touch. Be authentic and genuine in your marketing communications, communicate your core values, acknowledge your mistakes, and consider investing more in native advertising.
Make it easy
Millennial Moms are mobile: Compared to Gen X moms, they’re 5% more likely to use social media on their mobile devices on a daily basis. They’re also digitally savvy, using technology, including apps, to manage their lives and get more accomplished in less time. These moms turn to their mobile devices to look up recipes (76%), manage finances (69%), and search for parenting advice (76%) on a monthly basis. So if you want your brand to fit into her digital landscape, don’t make her look for you: Meet her on her favorite platforms, and use compelling visuals to convey your message quickly and easily.
As we know, moms make most of the household buying decisions, from the everyday right up to the big-ticket items. Millennial Moms have more choices than ever before – and different expectations. Keep in mind that this young mom is fearless, fun, diverse, mobile, and authentic. She’s changing traditions and challenging our perceptions, and she represents a cultural and economic force that’s creating lasting change.