Region/Countries: Canada, North America Industry: Multiple Sectors Date: May 2019

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Marketing advice for connecting with a generation that is wielding increasing buying power

Canada has approximately 9.5 million millennials (born between 1981 and 1996). Since Newsweek named the baby boomer cohort, each subsequent generation has been labeled (Generation X, millennial, Generation Z)—as if people are defined by their age. Generational experts are now reshaping this way of thinking. Recent data points to life stage, not age, as a key to modern-day marketing. Not necessarily in chronological order, the stages are: becoming an adult; living at home with one’s parents; becoming a parent; moving out of the parental home—all occurring with the use of social media and technology.

The global market research firm Ipsos advises that millennials simultaneously wish to express their individuality and to feel part of a peer group; companies wishing to reach this demographic should keep these competing interests in mind.

The Canadian Marketing Association’s recent report “Marketing to Millennialsfound that the evolution of digital marketing strategies, techniques and tools now allows for 1:1 marketing. Successful brands are creating targeted, personalized, relevant offers and messaging. This tech-savvy generation requires tech-savvy marketing. Canadian millennials use mobile to navigate nearly every aspect of their lives, from checking account balances to exploring vacations. They’re also increasingly using mobile to make purchases: More than 1 in 3 said they had purchased a product on mobile in the prior month, according to a recent survey by GlobalWebIndex.

Even though millennials have less income than older generations, they still have buying power—and are perhaps, in fact, more influential because of their social media use.

In addition to social media, millennials are also very responsive to direct mail. Canada Post research says that all generations use and follow promotions via both physical and digital media. Most importantly, millennials use physical media just as much as other generations—and when Millennials have children in the home, there’s a 16% increase in engagement with print.

Facebook IQ asked millennials in a survey what made them feel proud to be Canadian; 81% said it was that their society is multicultural, 76% said it was that their society is accepting, and 69% said it was because Canadians are compassionate toward one another.

Understanding the mindset of millennials, as well as what life stage they are in, can enable more effective marketing campaigns that combine targeting based on individual and group factors.