Everything you need to know about this technology-
driven, constantly connected generation.
A Marketer’s Guide To
Table of Contents
Who are Millennials? 3
Technology Outbreak 5
Millennials Crave Media 6
Digital Media 6
Traditional Media 9
Shop ‘tilYou Drop 12
Only the Best Brands 14
Working Hard or HardlyWorking? 15
What’s the Big Deal? 16
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Who are Millennials?
Millennials are digital natives, raised during a period where laptops,
social media and the internet were part of their everyday lives.
They’re the first to adopt new technology and can’t seem to get
enough of it – but still rely on traditional media to supplement their
Millennials were born roughly between 1980 and 2000, making them currently ages 15 to 35
years old. Other generations consist of the Silent Generation (1928-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-
1964), Gen X (1964-1980), and Gen Z (2000-current.)
Millennials make up about 25% of the U.S. population, and they’re reaching the point in their
lives where bigger decisions must be made and important things are beginning to happen in
their lives. They have been raised in a much different era than the previous generations and how
they choose to incorporate media into their lives differs from the these groups.
4 | A Marketer’s Guide to Millennials www.MediaHorizons.com
Who are Millennials?
Below are percentages of some major life milestones of Millennials,
according to Experian.
Whether they are applying for colleges, graduating college and searching for a job, purchasing a
new home or even starting a family, they always find a way to tie technology into their daily
Millennials matured in tandem with laptop computers, the Internet, social media and
technology in general which brought along constant updates and improvements. This has led
Millennials to adapt quickly to new products and tech upgrades. Millennials have a tendency to
multitask and are able to perform tasks through devices and programs much quicker than other
A significant number of Millennials feel the need to constantly be connected to some form of
technology or social media daily. The use of technology is no longer a want – it is a need.
Without the use of technology, many Millennials tend to feel overwhelmed, confused and lost.
Average of 3.2 per household
Millennials don’t just use the devices – they have merged their social lives with them.
Smartphones have become very popular with Millennials because they’re convenient and
helpful. Smartphones also help Millennials connect with their personal and social lives.
Facebook emerged in 2004 with the iPhone following shortly thereafter in 2007. Both of which
have had a major impact on the lives of Millennials. This generation essentially founded the
social media eruption. They believe that technology leaves a long-lasting impact and makes
their lives easier than other generations.
Technology is evolving everyday and Millennials have adjusted to its continuous changes.
Millennials are digital natives, meaning they’re the first generation to adopt new forms of
technology such as laptops, smartphones and other mobile devices.
Techopedia indicates that this exposure to technology in their early years has given Millennials a
greater familiarity with technology compared to generations born before it was widespread.
Millennials rack up18 hours of various
media use per day.
The use of social media by Millennials has significantly exceeded
every other generation. A study conducted by the Pew Research
Institute indicates that three quarters of Millennials have created a
profile on a social networking site. Millennials are constantly
Whether they are connecting to their friends through Facebook or
Twitter, making shopping purchases through their tablets, or paying
bills online with their smartphones.
5 | A Marketer’sGuide to Millennials www.MediaHorizons.com
use tablets use smartphones use theTV use laptops/pc
Millennials Crave Media
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Millennials are in the now of technology – they have adapted to it so well that they cannot have
just one form. Millennials will have their laptop in their book bag, an iPod in their pocket, their
cell phone in their right hand scrolling through today’s top trends and their tablet in their left
hand, usually with a coffee balanced on top.
Still, many believe that digital media is the only form of media Millennials use. According to
ComScore, Millennials still have a habit of using traditional publications through desktop and
mobile platforms. When The New York Times reached more than 64 million visitors across
desktop and mobile platforms, over 20 million (32%) of those viewers were Millennials. On a
weekly basis 94% of Millennials consume media on their smartphones, 93% watch TV, 83%
listen to the radio, 66% read traditional hardcopy newspapers and 62% read hardcopy
However, when all forms of media are combined, Millennials use up about 18 hours of their day.
Sixty percent of Millennials are interested in consuming news related media.
A lot of Millennials’ information has a tendency to come through their emails. According to a
Pew study, 90% of Millennials use the web to send and receive email. Yet, many wonder how
they use it.
When in need of a one-to-one contact with a brand, Millennials
immediately choose email. The study by Pew also mentioned
that email came in as the number two preferred means of doing
product research in retail segments.
Millennials often check email on their mobile devices, according
to a Pew study, which states that 51% of Millennials have
opened up their emails on their mobile devices.
Millennials Crave Media
7 | A Marketer’sGuide to Millennials www.MediaHorizons.com
Mobile applications are a part of Millennials’ everyday lives. Mobile apps help to make print
media publications available on-the-go, in addition to Snapchat, Instagram and other popular
apps. Facebook ranks highly with about 88% of Millennials using it for news and information.
The types of apps are endless and are a large part of media consumption. Instead of grabbing
the newspaper, Millennials can check their “The New York Times” app and receive the exact
information as if it were in print.
Below is a list of the top 10 apps that Millennials are using the most:
The Media Briefing mentioned that among the younger Millennial generation, smartphone
ownership is now 77%, which is more than 50% higher than the population as a whole.
Millennials check their phones at least 45 times a day and can use up to 18 hours a day on
various forms of media.
Millennials are focusing more on online videos instead of traditional television. About 91% of
Millennials have accessed some sort of online video and are now spending more time watching
videos online than on TV, according to The Media Briefing. Sling TV, Netflix and Hulu are popular
video-on-demand services that can be viewed on computers, tablets and even smartphones.
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According to eMarketer, Millennial smartphone owners send and receive more than 4,000 text
messages per month and 43% of them say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual
conversation. What is even more remarkable is how the younger crowd of Millennials have
created their own form of millennial lingo.
The way Millennials text is not how they speak to others in person. These phrases are sent out to
be smart or funny, show originality, and even incorporate a sense of drama about their lives.
Millennials typically abbreviate words and sayings such as LOL (laughing out loud) or OMG (oh
Millennials also tend to create different phrases and sayings for other terms. Examples of terms
Millennials have created to replace other words are BAE, TURN UP, THIRSTY, YAS, WCW or MCM.
If marketers take the time to understand the everyday lingo that Millennials use they would be
able to speak to them more directly and attract a larger target audience.
Millennials Crave Media
8 | A Marketer’sGuide to Millennials www.MediaHorizons.com
2) Turn Up
1) Before anyone else
2) Go wild/party
3) Extremely desperate
4) Yes with extra
5) Woman Crush
6) Man Crush Monday
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Millennials Crave Media
When smartphones, laptops and other forms of technology are finally detached from the hands
of Millennials, they gravitate towards other forms of media. Despite all the rumors of the lack of
traditional media use, Millennials still choose to consume media via these “old school” channels.
They spend roughly 100 hours a week using media, however 32 of those hours are dedicated to
traditional media. Since technology has made news much easier to find, it is difficult to go back
to the traditional ways. However, Millennials still tend to listen to the radio, watch the news and
even read magazines and newspapers.
93% of Millennials have read a magazine in the last
93% listen to AM/FM radio at least once per week
23% of Millennials read a newspaper in one day
TV is still the #1 media activity for Millennials
Millennials still find direct mail to be useful and trustworthy. In fact, according to a study from
Research Now, 90% of Millennials say they think direct mail is reliable and 87% enjoy receiving
information and offers from retailers in the mail.
The only dilemma with direct mail is grabbing their attention. Thirty-three percent of
Millennials look to direct mail for information on special offers and deals. Below are three
strategies to keep in mind when trying to market to Millennials with direct mail.
Millennials Crave Media
Make it Personal
Millennials enjoy connecting socially and expressing their achievements through social media.
However, they also enjoy receiving things that they consider personal. They have specific idea
on what they want, need and like, therefore it is important to have a creative message that is
personalized to that exact Millennial’s interests.
Make Them Feel Important
Everyone loves feeling special and exclusive, however, when it comes to Millennials, 51% say
when they receive rewards, they desire exclusive access. They enjoy receiving rewards
programs with special deals, products and insider information.
Drive to Online
Making direct mail more effective is best achieved by tying it into something of higher value.
Millennials are online for a large part of their day so grabbing their attention through direct mail
and then driving them to the brand’s website can be beneficial. Direct mail influences 76% of
internet users to buy a product or service online.
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Millennials are still picking up print newspapers and reading them. According to a survey
conducted by the American Press Institute, about 16% of Millennials paid for a hard copy
newspaper subscription. When it comes to newspapers or reading a book, they value the
physical touch over the electronic. The study also noted that 68% of Millennial consumers react
to advertisements in print newspapers, including coupons.
Millennials Crave Media
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Millennials still find the mail they receive to be valuable and they trust the information given to
them by local newspapers. When they are looking for the touch value they lean towards
traditional hardcopy however, with the technology today, it has allowed them to access this
traditional media through their smartphones.
of Millennials still want
It’s a common misunderstanding that the Millennial generation doesn’t read print media
because they are too consumed with their social media lives. However, studies have proved that
Millennials still rely on print media such as newspapers and magazines for their information.
A study conducted by MPA found that nearly all Millennials read magazines – 93% of those who
were surveyed said they have opened a magazine in the past 60 days. Millennials enjoy the
physical relationship with magazines. Magazines can include discounts, coupons, special
promotions and even contests that Millennials can participate in.
Shop ‘til You Drop
Did you know?
64% of Millennials follow companies or brands on Facebook for coupons or discounts and
66% do the same throughTwitter.
Millennials are always searching for deals and ways to save on their brand
Millennials believe money is everlasting, nonetheless their spending habits and bills are
increasing. A recent survey from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants noted
that over 3 quarters of younger Millennials want to have the same clothing, cars and techy
gadgets as all of their friends.To do so, they swipe their credit cards.
Millennials use credit cards to pay for almost all of their basic daily needs such as food and
utilities. However, over 25% of Millennials have had late payments and are dealing with bill
collectors. Those who are not dealing with late bills believe that being able to pay off their bills
each month defines them as financially stable. About 37% of Millennials love to shop and out
of all generations, Millennials are 52% more likely to make impulse purchases.
Below is a chart of the recent purchases of Millennials over a 6 month
Grocery & Food
Health & Beauty
Baby & Kids
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
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Shop ‘til You Drop
The older range of Millennials, approximately 25 and older, tend to be more geared towards
saving money, whether for retirement or personal activities. Instead of investing in a new
luxurious car, they’d rather save for a personal experience such as traveling. Many are currently
in the process of paying off their student loans and experiencing a time period with a difficult
About 4 in 10
worry about money at
least once a week.
One way Millennials have been able to take their minds off of money budgeting has been
through the use of apps. Certain apps have been used to help manage money and show how
much has been spent or saved daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly.
A popular money budgeting app is Mint, which provides tools to manage spending, savings,
budgeting and earnings by synching to bank accounts. Other common money saving apps
include GoodBudget, Mvelopes, BillGuard, and Pocket Expense. All of these apps have the same
focus to help consumers save and budget their money.
13 | A Marketer’s Guide to Millennials www.MediaHorizons.com
Only the Best Brands
Millennials are very specific when it comes to brands they want and need – they only want the
best. Millennials prefer high-quality products that fit their personalities and high expectations.
Here are Millennials top 10 favorite brands according to Business
Millennials love deals and follow numerous social media accounts to receive freebies and
coupons. According to AdWeek 57% of Millennials follow brands on social media exclusively for
contests and free items. Many of them even use social media to browse through reviews, product
information and price comparison. When making a purchase decision, 57% turn to the brand with
the lowest cost. Their main concern is to spend the least amount of money possible and enjoy
what they receive.
The figure below shows why Millennials said they follow brands on
57% Contests & free items
39% Product recommendations
30% Entertaining pictures/video
15% Funny conversation
14 | A Marketer’sGuide to Millennials www.MediaHorizons.com
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Working Hard or Hardly Working?
Millennials are the largest generation in the workplace and they are changing how work is being
done. According to Ivey Business Journal, Millennials are well educated, skilled in technology,
very self-confident, able to multitask and have plenty of high energy. They have very high
expectations for themselves and strive for challenges. While in the workplace Millennials are
increasing the use of technology, are quicker with sharing information as a team and are more
comfortable in a work environment than other generations.
What makes Millennials so different from the current baby boomer generation are their work
preferences. Many prefer working in teams over working individually and they need to be
engaged in what they are working on. Being sociable and creative are top priorities when it
comes to Millennials in the workplace. Their overall performance and communication differs
strongly from other generations. According to Forbes, 74% of Millennials want flexible work
schedules and 72% of them would like to be their own boss.
Millennials also believe that they do not earn enough money for the work they are doing. There
are many differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers in the workplace. Companies are
currently adjusting their policies and procedures to accommodate the growing number of
Millennials entering the workforce.
How Millennials view themselves in the workplace compared to how
other generations view them:
82% Loyal to
86% Hard working
1% Loyal to
11% Hard working
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Millennials View Other Generations
View of Millennials
What’s the Big Deal?
So what is it that makes people so infatuated with Millennials? They are a unique generation that
cause advertisers to adapt their marketing strategies, stores to tailor their products and
companies to appeal to their wants and desires. Many feel the need to engage with Millennials to
understand their overall media consumption habits and differences – making them nearly
impossible to ignore.
It is important for individuals – including marketers, to acknowledge that Millennials’ behavior
will evolve over time. When focusing on social media, The American Press Institute states that
86% of Millennials say that they have changed how they use social media in some way compared
to the past, whether it is due to their age or their attitude towards social networks.
According to The Future Cast, the way Millennials are fixating themselves to brands strongly
influences how our entire consumer market works. The millennial generation has become so
large that they are redefining the economy. The millennial population has grown to 75.3 million,
surpassing every other generations population so far. Millennials have made such a great impact
that we no longer study their behavior and trends, we live it.
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About Media Horizons Inc.
Media Horizons, Inc., an award-winning direct marketing agency located in Norwalk,
CT, helps companies cost effectively generate new customers and maximize their
Founded in 1988, MHI is an entrepreneurial, independently owned direct marketing
agency that offers a complete suite of services to provide measurable marketing
solutions in offline and digital media. Capabilities include Strategic Planning, Creative
Development, Media Planning & Buying, Data & Analytics and Customer Database
Marketing, Project Management and Process Mapping.
Media Horizons, Inc.
40 Richards Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
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