Gen Y, Gen Curious: The World's Most Interesting Demo

Marketing Daily readers may be a little obsessed, and can’t seem to get enough research insights about Gen Y.

I write several hundred stories a year for MD, touching on many marketers, retailers, and brands, as well as plenty of demographic studies. Boomers? Gen X? Hispanic? Meh. These pieces get read, of course, but not like the Gen Y pieces: Four of my top 10 stories this year were about research intended to help marketers better connect, communicate and woo the Millennial shopper. (“Gen Y Dissected: Six Types Of Millennials,” which offered a quick review of some of Boston Consulting Group’s intriguing analysis of the way young consumers spend and save, was No. 1.)

And not at all coincidentally, three other stories in the top 10 focused on either methods or frustrations in trying to captivate hard-to-reach consumers, a.k.a. Gen Y. An article about research in which 77% of CMOs confessed that they were generally unsure about how to best reach consumers -- especially younger ones -- was No. 2. And a Q&A with one of Ben & Jerry’s social strategists, “Boosting ROI With Sweet Tweets,” got lots of attention from readers who wanted to know how well that brand did in reaching ice-cream lovers through Twitter, one of Gen Y’s favorite languages. (“Youngest Millennials Flee Facebook for Twitter” was also in the top 10.)

And a piece about how many consumers, even those in the Gen Y demo, were rejecting some forms of social media and tech as a shopping device also got plenty of clicks, “Shoppers Spurn Social, QR Codes.” (It also generated a little bit of hate mail. Sheesh. Some of our social people are so thin-skinned.)

And finally, for the balance of the top 10, 

I think it’s easiest to invoke Sigmund Freud for an explanation: Marketers still just want to know what women want. One piece focused on the difference between men’s and women’s brains, another on Under Armour’s efforts to reach women, and finally, one about how dads are finally, finally, taking their rightful places behind grocery carts everywhere.

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