It always makes me laugh when the presentation then progresses to how a Millennial has no idea what a VCR or tape recorder is. So what? I use a VCR and a tape recorder as often as anyone half my age, and that's effectively never because the things aren't sold any more. It's not a case that i am reachable via a cassette tape and Millennials are only addressable over Spotify. We're both on there. Same thing with Uber. Any bar after a long day in the office will be packed by executives of all ages. OK -- so the demographic may skew to younger people with no kids to get to bed after dinnertime. But who's getting home via Uber? It's not a case of everyone in their 20s suddenly killing off tradition with an app while everyone over thirty-something hails a black cab.
So I totally applaud the latest issue of Marketing Week for calling out the gurus. First, the evidence against the experts looks at attitudes to technology, courtesy of Forrester research. This basically finds that there are five types of people across multiple age groups who either pick up technology first, soon follow or lag behind. Then there is the research and testimony of brand consultancy, The Gild, which finds that if you look at traditional demographics, some age groups may have similar attitudes to others way older or younger, depending on their experience. Put simply, it's better to characterise people by their behaviour and intent than imprison them within tight age-defined demographic groups.
So, if you thought it was only you wondering whether the whole presentation of Millennials is a little forced, you're not alone. Sure, there are some macro view differences that you would be a fool not to consider as a digital marketer. Snapchat, for example, is probably a good hunting ground if you want to reach people in their twenties, but that doesn't mean everyone of the same age will have the same view of your product and service. Neither does it mean that good prospects of all ages might be discoverable on the messaging service, as well as other sites.