PRINT IS DEAD
MILLENIALS & MEDIA CONSUMPTION
S T R A T E G Y. D E S I G N .
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PRINT IS DEAD.
WELL, KIND OF.
Millenials. Generation Y. Call them what you like. Depending on how you slice
it, they’re seen to be the second largest demographic group after Baby Boomer’s.
Today’s marketers are trying a lot of new approaches to build relationships with
them. From traditional media to blogs, podcasts and Facebook Flyers, brands are
experimenting with new approaches, new environments, new messaging, new
products and new services.
But, what’s really working? While there’s been a wide array of research, pundits,
articles and conjectures, what conclusions can we really draw from what’s out there?
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HOW ARE THEY
IT’S THE INTERNET, MAN.
On the whole, young people use the Internet more than their older counterparts.
They use it for education, entertainment, staying in touch, and for news and
information. In fact, 33% of young people use the Internet more than any other
form of media—spending over 10 hours per week online.1
BUT, DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL JUST YET.
Traditional media is most certainly not dead. Numerous studies point to increased
consumption of magazines plus higher levels of confidence and influence with
traditional media sources. Adults aged 19-24 actually read more magazine titles
than the population at-large.2 Teenagers and young adults aged 13-24 still pay
more attention to TV and magazine advertising and rate them as the most
influential forms of media. 58% of those aged 18-24 use magazines to keep
pace of what’s cool and hip.3
Based on an online survey with 439 college students aged 18-24 conducted by Burst Media in July 2007.
Based on data from 8,400 respondents in a Readership.com study sponsored by McPheters & Co in summer
2006. Consumers aged 19-24 averaged 18.3 magazine titles read over a 6 month period, while the
general population averaged 17.0.
Based on two research studies – a 3/07 research study funded by Viacom and conducted by Open Mind Research
and OTX Research with 1,000+ kids aged 13-19 conducted online, via cell phone, and through focus groups; and
the Deloitte & Touche, “State of the Media Democracy” conducted by Harris Group 2/23/07 – 3/6/07.
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WOM STILL TRUMPS
TXT AND IM
THEY STILL TALK TO EACHOTHER.
Word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) is still one of the most powerful ways to
connect your brand to a large audience. And, despite what cell phone advertisers
might have you think, young people do actually speak to one another. In fact,
63% of conversations teenagers have about products and services occur face-to-
face while only 19% occur online (text messaging, IM, email, chatrooms, blogs).4
BUT, WHAT ABOUT THE MESSAGE?
Regardless of where they’re getting information, young people are savvy users
of media. They know when they’re being marketed to, and they know when a
brand’s authentic or when it’s blowing smoke. More and more young people value
creativity and style. They’re looking for brands that reflect this desire, and offer
them the ability to customize a product to their lifestyle.5
By contrast, for the general population 73% of these conversations occur in-person and 7% occur online.
Based on a survey of 2,046 teens aged 13-17 conducted by the Keller Fay Group January – May 2007.
Hein, Kenneth. “How to Reach Teens? It’s All About the Brand.” BrandWeek. June 18, 2007.
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SO, WHAT DOES IT
Integrated media is still the best approach for communicating with just about any
audience. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adapt your strategy to fit your
target. Most young people today are consuming media at some level in all its
forms, and most can’t even comprehend a world without the Internet. Remember,
a 16-year old today was only 5 when the Internet first penetrated almost every
American household.6 It’s not new media or online media to them, it’s all just media.
If you’re targeting young people don’t be afraid to try new things. Invest in blogs,
podcasts, online sponsorship, paid search, Facebook Flyers. But, don’t think you
have it all figured out. Today’s Facebook could be tomorrow’s Pets.com. Maintain
an integrated mix of traditional media. Television and print are primary influencers
of young people and will continue to be for at least 10-15 years to come.
Goodnow, Cecelia. “’Millenials’ thrive on choice, instant results.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 12, 2007.
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Delaney, Kevin; Robert A. Guth and Vauhini Vara. “Microsoft Best On Facebook
Stake And Web Ad Boom.” The Wall Street Journal Online. October 25, 2007.
Goodnow, Cecelia. “’Millenials’ thrive on choice, instant results.” Seattle Post-
Intelligencer. March 12, 2007.
Hein, Kenneth. “How To Reach Teens? It’s All About the Brand.” Brandweek.
June 18, 2007.
Lukovitz, Karlene. “WOM: Teens Speak Another Language, Face Time Is Crucial.”
MediaPost Publications. August 15, 2007.
Mandese, Joe. “Research Reveals Young Adults Read More Magazines, Not
Less.” MediaPost Publications. May 18, 2007.
Burst Media Corporation. “Looking to Reach College Students – Look Online.”
Online Insights. July 2007.
eMarketer. “Print and Digital Need Not Compete.” August 27, 2007.
MarketingCharts.com. “Millennials Like Traditional – Not Just New – Media.” July
MarketingCharts.com. “Marketers Plan to Increase Social Media Spending, ROI
Not Yet a Concern.” October 16, 2007.