What you didn’t know about Millennials

Millennials represent the generation that is more connected and digitally savvy than ever before. This group is forever walking around with their heads down, scrolling through their Facebook or Instagram feed – 47 percent of them even snuggle up with their smartphones in bed, both at night and the morning. [1]

They are a huge powerhouse of young adults that make up one-fourth of the planet’s population, and are only just beginning to flex their spending power [2]. Millennials, like no other consumer group, are driving how, when and where they want marketing messages to engage them. Considering their digital habits, it would seem logical for marketers to target this large and demanding group of the population via digital ads. However, recent research is suggesting that this might not be the case. In fact, when Millennials do emerge from their digital black holes, it seems that they are much more likely to engage with marketing presented via more traditional platforms.

According to a recent study by Quad Graphics, even though over the past 7 days, 88 percent of Millennials have read an email, 86 percent have surfed the net and 81 percent have been on social media – print is the thing that makes Millennials stop, take notice and make a purchase. “Millennials like to hold print in their hands, read it, smell it, use it to link to a video or coupon, save it, take it to the store with them, and share it with friends.” [3] An astonishing 77 percent of Millennials pay attention to direct mail, 74 percent to retail inserts, 54 percent to catalogues and 51 percent to magazines. These are huge numbers that need not be neglected!

Not only do they pay more attention to print, they are also more likely to ignore digital advertising. A whopping 48 percent of Millennials ignore e-mails, whereas only 15 percent of them ignore direct mail. When you think about it, Millennials are so consumed in their digital world that getting something personalised and printed, stands out and engages on a different level.  

When reviewing the data, researchers analysed how Millennials engaged with advertising from retail stores. Quad Graphics reported that 57 percent will read emails from retail stores and 82 percent will read direct mail from them – that’s 25 percent more engagement with a direct mail piece.

That being said, Millennials are more likely than any other generation to respond to direct mail by visiting the company’s website, representing a perfect example of the union between digital and print. Direct mail is an effective way to drive traffic online, using the power of multiple channels to increase touch points and engagement with the target audience.

And direct mail is just the beginning. Catalogues are also heavily used by Millennials with 54 percent looking forward to receiving retail catalogues and 40 percent buying more from companies when they receive a catalogue. The digital and print union wins again, with 50 percent of Millennials using catalogues to help shop or place orders online.

It’s the same story for magazines – 62 percent of Millennials prefer to read printed magazines and 49 percent of them made a purchase because of something they saw within the pages.

Millennials require instant, personalised access to information via digital, however the results prove that print is a more effective way to catch their initial attention. In order to tap into the lucrative group of Millennials, marketers shouldn’t be so quick to jump straight to a digital-only solution. Leveraging each channel to harvest every step in the path to purchase will reap the best engagement and sales results.

[1] Google/Galaxy Research. Micro-Moments Study, June 2015.

[2] Nielsen. The Keys to Unlocking the Millennial Mindset, July 2016.

[3] Quad/Graphics. Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse 2015

TSA Limited (TSA) is a not-for-profit industry funded organisation developing sales and marketing campaigns to promote the paper and print industries.

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