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Oracle Data Cloud Blog

The 5 millennial types every marketer needs to know

Kori Wallace
Content Manager

A smart marketer knows that when you try to target everyone, you’re really targeting no one. This especially rings true when brands aim to reach the millennial generation—one that spans almost two decades. As we dove into our data to narrow down this elusive group, we found distinct trends in geography, socioeconomic identifiers, and purchasing behavior. Pulling from Oracle Data Cloud audience insights, we cover five types of millennials and how to market to them.

 

Marketing to millennials

Millennials are a generation loosely defined as being born between 1982 and the mid- to late ’90s, with some researchers including those born in the early aughts (2000s). Millennials are most notably characterized by having been raised with modern technology and for being media savvy. Other stereotypical traits include being entitled, sheltered, confident, narcissistic, and idealistic.

Now the largest generational group in the US, millennials account for 25 percent of the total population, and Pew Research noted that in 2016, millennials became the largest generation in the US labor force. It is also estimated that millennials make up 21 percent of consumer discretionary purchases, a number amounting to somewhere over a trillion dollars. Clearly, this is a population that marketers want to harness.

So, beyond their proclivity for technology and being pegged with some unfortunate personality traits, who are millennials? What are they buying? Where do they live? And how can marketers target them?

As it turns out, data shows that millennials are harder to pin down than previously thought, and the answer to those questions isn’t so simple.

 

Diving into the data: 5 types of millennials

After analyzing audience data, we discovered five distinct millennial types, listed below as personas. Each group is unique in its buying habits and requires an audience strategy specifically designed to align with its interests and character traits.

 

Rural Robbie

Socioeconomic status: Working class; 75% earn below $75K

Geographic region: East and South, moderately rural but moves often

Food: Prefers ordering online and likes quick-serve burgers; 54% more likely to buy frozen ethnic food compared to the average millennial

Entertainment: 84% more likely to shop for video games in store; engages in 40% more online video games compared to the average millennial

Transportation: Compact cars and sedans: Dodge, Pontiac, Mitsubishi, Kia

Other interesting facts:

  • 2x more likely to buy Jordans compared to the average millennial
  • 40% more likely to have no contract phones compared to the average millennial

 

Melissa in the Midwest

Socioeconomic status: Average income, approximately $75K

Geographic region: Midwest and West; moderately rural

Food: 46% more likely to spend at convenience stores compared to the average millennial

Entertainment: 50% more likely to spend on movie DVD rentals; 40% more likely to spend on video games compared to the average millennial

Transportation: Minivans, pickups, SUVs: Chrysler, Chevy, Ford, Toyota

Other interesting facts:

  • 3x more likely to shop for weight-loss supplements
  • 2x more likely to shop for fishing, golf, and tennis products compared to the average millennial
  • Favorite shoe brands: Reebok, K-Swiss, Lee, Coleman

 

Madison, the East Coast metropolitan

Socioeconomic status: Higher income; 3x more likely to earn over $200K compared to the average millennial

Geographic region: East Coast, metropolitan

Food: Natural living

Entertainment: More likely to buy baby and children’s products, golfing accessories, and women’s activewear

Transportation: Sedans, compacts, crossovers: Audi, Acura, Lexus

Other interesting facts:

  • 2x more likely to buy sun-care products
  • More likely to buy brands such as Steve Madden, Vans, Guess, Brooks
  • 2x more likely to travel to Australia/Oceania and Mexico compared to the average millennial
  • 2x more likely to travel for business compared to the average millennial

 

Groovy Garrett

Socioeconomic status: Average income

Geographic region: West Coast, minor metro areas

Food: 3x more likely to shop for Tex-Mex and Hispanic products compared to the average millennial; 60% more likely to buy energy drinks; 40% more likely to go for quick-serve Asian foods compared to the average millennial

Transportation: Compacts, SUVs, pickups, hybrids: Chrysler, Toyota

Other interesting facts:

  • More likely to buy brands such as Jordan, Guess, K-Swiss, Steve Madden, Timberland

 

Soccer-mom Susan

Socioeconomic status: Middle and upper middle class

Geographic region: Midwest and south, rural and moderately rural

Food: 2x more likely to buy energy drinks, sports drinks, frozen appetizers, children’s foods

Entertainment: 50% more likely to go for video games in store and movie DVDs compared to the average millennial

Transportation: Minivans, pickups, SUVs: Chrysler, Ford, Chevy

Other interesting facts:

  • 40% more likely to shop for hunting gear compared to the average millennial
  • Interested in brands such as Jordan, Guess, K-Swiss, Burberry, Reebok
  • Frequently shops at convenience stores

 

Getting tactical: 3 steps to activating an audience-focused campaign

All this information is great, but how do you use it?

Finding the right audience is one of the most important parts of running a successful campaign. A clearly defined audience allows you to move from targeting broad groups such as millennials to narrowing in on specific audiences such as Groovy Garrett or Soccer-Mom Susan. Accounting for the intricacies of specific audiences leads to alignment in messaging and creative, more effective tactics, and a better way of measuring performance.

This is the premise of audience-focused campaigns. If you’re new to this approach to marketing, here is a quick three-step process to get started:

1. Create an audience plan that maps to goals and objectives. Do this by defining the following:

  • The audiences at the core of your campaign
  • The ideal audience size you need to target
  • The creative and media channels/placements you wish to activate
  • Specific key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure campaign effectiveness

2. Supplement online audience data with offline data to gain an even deeper understanding of your audience.

  • An example of offline data would be information from a loyalty card or in-store credit card purchase data. Audience-focused campaigns can map in-store purchases to online IDs, providing a more robust understanding of your customers and when and how they shop. 

3. Measure effectiveness of the audience and optimize as you go.

  • Eliminate ineffective audience segments
  • Tweak audiences for improved effectiveness
  • Add audiences where necessary

 

Audience data adds a meaningful dimension to what you may already know about your customers. Use this to scale and develop your communication strategy with them. Get specific and find more success.

 

About Kori Wallace

 

Kori Hill Wallace is a content specialist for Oracle Data Cloud. She loves appetizers, animals, athletics, and alliteration. (See what she did there?)

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