Majority of millennials are going unreached: study

It's 2016, do you know where the millennials are? New research from Dentsu Aegis shows 58% of the coveted demo is misunderstood and under-targeted.

Imagine the groans from the research team when Louise Veyret, director of research and consumer insight at Dentsu Aegis Network Canada, pitched the idea of doing yet another study on everyone’s favourite demographic, millennials.

Veyret told MiC she was met with some hesitation when she brought the idea to the table, but that was quelled when she said that the goal of the study would be to dive deeper into the specific characteristics of different millennials. In other words, not just running another study comparing the group to other age ranges.

The name of the final report – “The Millennial Disconnect Study” – hints to its findings. The study surveyed more than 4,400 English and French Canadians online, asking about topics including media receptivity, technology adoption and purchasing behaviours, as well as values and motivations.

According to the findings a full 58% of Canadian millennials are currently not being reached. How is that gap happening? The study found that the stereotypical millennial: always-connected, social, mobile, oversharing and self-obsessed, only accounts for 42% of the demo overall. And Veyret said that’s the millennial group that marketers spend the most time on.

Dentsu Aegis found four groups within the millennial generation. The first group are the “#TrendNetters,” the stereotypical millennial that’s been oversimplified by marketers and media. This group makes up 42% of Canadian millennials, and is socially conscious, overbooked and very image conscious.

Veyret also noted that conversations about the stereotypical millennial group tends to be over simplistic. “While we think the ‘#TrendNetters’ are self-focused, they are also socially focused. That gets excluded from a lot of the conversations,” she said.

The second group Dentsu Aegis found are the “#Alter-natives,” which account for 31% of Canadian millennials. This group is actively trying to do and support things that help their communities, is connected to niche arts and culture and worries about their financial circumstances, perhaps because much of the group is working part-time or is currently not working. Knowledge is power to this segment, according to the study, but they are likely to keep what they know to themselves or within their circles.

The third millennial segment are “#LYFpreneurs,” a niche group that only 15% of the demo identified as. This group reports light to medium media consumption, with no differentiation between online and offline channels. They are smart with spending, health conscious, think advertising should be factual and believe companies should be doing more to prevent climate change.

The fourth and smallest group are the “#BetaBlazers,” which account for 12% of Canadian millennials. These are the early adopters, the ones most likely to consume online TV, mobile internet and online editions of newspapers. They’re also the most likely to share, and think others come to them for advice before purchases. They are optimistic and buy from brands that reward them for being loyal.

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