For serial entrepreneur Stacey Ferreira, 23, the Millennial generation is best defined by this Napoleon Hill quote: “If you’re not learning while you’re earning, you’re cheating yourself out of the better portion of your compensation.”
More than anything else, she says, Millennials are seekers of purpose.
Ferreira, who heads up the digital advertising agency AdMoar, took the stage Thursday morning at Inc.’s annual Women’s Summit in New York City along with Rodney Williams (31), co-founder and CEO of Lisnr, SOLS co-founder Kegan Schouwenburg (29), and Inc. senior editor Christine Lagorio to discuss what really defines this generation at large.
Accounting for as many as 80 million people between the ages of 18 and 34–and an estimated $200 billion in U.S. spending power–Millennials are clearly a valuable demographic to businesses and employers.
Every month, we survey 1000 13-32-year-olds to learn about young consumers’ attitudes and behaviors, and today we’re using recent data to highlight five things that you probably don’t know about Millennials and teens, from their mobile behavior to their spending habits. Not everything you’ve read about them is true…
1. THEY’RE MORE TRADITIONAL THAN YOU THINK.
Hookup culture and all those “newfangled” dating apps get a lot of attention, but in reality Millennials and teens are more traditional than you might think. 50% of 13-32-year-olds have been on a formal date, 25% are in a committed relationship, and 17% are married. The majority of those in a relationship met their significant other in an old-fashioned way: 32% met at school, 22% through mutual friends/family, 9% met at work. But how real is that infamous hookup culture? Only 23% of those over 18-years-old have had a one night stand. And while it’s true that sexting is a thing—34% have sexted, and 15% have “naughty Snapchatted”—the majority want stability in their romance, with 75% saying they want to be in a long-term committed relationship.
Millennials and younger members of Gen X appear to be delaying the financial responsibility of homeownership.
But it’s hard to blame a group who watched the housing market skyrocket and plummet just as they were entering college or becoming young professionals gearing up to buy a starter home.
As the economy improved, and financial arrested development started to end, some 20- to 30-somethings have started to invest in real estate, but not in the traditional sense.
Many have turned to turnkey properties, which offer the opportunity to become a homeowner while adding another revenue stream to an investment portfolio.
“You never say thank you,” young advertising copywriter Peggy Olson complains to her boss, Don Draper.
“That’s what the money is for!” he retorts.
This exchange from TV’s Mad Men perfectly captures one of the enduring challenges of the workplace: sometimes managers and employees have vastly different notions of which incentives really matter.
I would argue that-including in the case of Peggy and Don-there is a generational component to such differences. Don, a child of the Great Depression and a Korean War veteran, is a classic Traditionalist (the generation born in the 1920s and 1930s) for whom work is a transaction. As he says earlier in this exchange, “I give you money, you give me ideas.”
Each generation uses digital differently to consume content and shop for products and services, and marketers need to understand these differences to target their desired audiences on the devices they are most likely to be using.
Millward Brown Digital surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in three generations (millennials, born after 1980; Generation X, born 1965-1980; and boomers, born from 1946-1964) to see how different age groups favored different screens for various activities.
“What the data demonstrates is that even with our advanced knowledge of digital today, advertisers and marketers can’t make assumptions about how various demographics and targets are using digital devices and mobile to access content,” said Joline McGoldrick, research director at Millward Brown Digital. “It is easy to stereotype and say the best way to reach millennials is on mobile, but that is not always true. As the analysis shows, device usage varies from generation to generation based upon what the activity is. There needs to be a more granular understanding of how activity and type of content dictates preferences for screen usage in order to make a truly effective and efficient marketing strategy.”
With the U.S. economy gaining steam, employers are finally hiring — and those benefits have spread to most corners of the job market. Even America’s young adults, who bore the brunt of the downturn, are starting to regain their economic footing.
That doesn’t mean all is well for millennials, especially those who entered the workforce when things were at their worst. Improvements in the headline statistics mask some of the longer-lasting effects of the recession. Here are some of the scars that recession graduates may bear for a long time to come.
Think you’ve got your millennial employees figured out? You may not know them as well as you think.
Last month, Bentley University released the results of “Millennial Mind Goes to Work,” a survey that polled more than 1,000 U.S. millennials ages 18 to 34 on their attitudes about career and workplace issues. The statistics revealed nuances of many of the assumptions older generations have made about Generation Y, such as their obsession with technology and propensity for job hopping.
The study, which was conducted as part of the school’s millennial workforce preparedness program called PreparedU, reinforces the fact that millennials have been mischaracterized by employers in many instances, said Bentley University President Gloria Larson.