The Hidden Opportunity of Marketing to Millennials

The Hidden Opportunity of Marketing to Millennials

Blame the business or blame the Millennials? It’s a question that lobs accusations between generations now that Millennials have reached adulthood and the paychecks that come with it. Unsurprisingly, Millennials aren’t spending money the same way their predecessors did, and it’s throwing some markets for a spin.

Everything from chain restaurants to paper napkins is at risk, and’s Conor Cawley has a much-shared article on the topic. His analysis brings up some good points about why Millennials are spending the way they are, and what that means for everyone involved. The following isn’t to say Millennial consumers are entirely blameless, but rather to remind everyone that diverse marketing strategies lead to stronger business models by providing a diverse consumer base.

It’s important to recognize that spending patterns are going to be different when Millennials are making less than their parents did at the same age. This has been talked about for some time now and isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s the main foundation for why twentysomethings are supposedly killing off entire industries. They don’t have as much disposable income as other businesses would like them to have.

But it’s not like the entire generation is voluntarily making less money for the sole purpose of driving companies under. People respond to incentives, and when money is tight, so are the purse strings.

So why blame industry woes on a single generation that just entered the workforce? It discards an entire consumer base of opportunity that could be marketed to with better approaches. Millennials are going to be different, just like every generation before them. Brands or products will be held to different standards than their predecessors.

So what do we do? Create understanding through better communication, and create new approaches or products based on that understanding.

Don’t fall into the ongoing blame game where each demographic keeps shifting responsibility from their generation to the other in hopes that history and economists will look back favorably on them. We all want to to be remembered fondly, and that’s why learning how to communicate and market to a generation that still has decades of consumer spending ahead of them is far wiser than writing them off as snowflakes.

Who knows? It might even keep some industries from completely going under.